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WlLMtiK COU-fcC U!0^ 


In Blue Uniform 








My dear Melville Upton : — 

In offering you this book 1 come not as one exalting 
his gifts, but rather as one making sincere acknowledg- 
ment of service done. While the work involved has all 
been mine, it was yours to perform that primary and 
necessary office best described as "touching the button." 
For without the energetic impulse imparted by your vigor- 
ous nature, the book had never been written. Some who 
will read the book may regard your act with distrust ; 
I can at least assure them that your motive was good. But 
whether you have done well or ill it shall be far from me 
to declare. I can do no more than affirm the pleasure 
it gives me to thus make you, in a way, joint-heir with 
me in the mingled favor and disfavor that the book will 
surely find. 


Charlestown, New Hampshire, 
Aprils, 1893. 


Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witii funding from 

University of Nortii Carolina at Chapel Hill 



This is a story of the Old Regiment. 
Every. man and woman will know which that 
is ; and yet no two will be likely to agree. 
For though there have been and still are real- 
ments upon regiments, but one holds to each 
of us the proud pre-eminence of being the 
Old Regiment. That is its title of flattering- 
distinction, its mark of affectionate regard. 
■For official purposes, let it be designated by 
a number, something between one and twentj^- 
flve, — for this shall be an infantry regiment, 
most of us being foot-soldiers, — but the 
number never will get beyond officedom. 
Let two crutch-supported veterans of a 
younger day meet and compare notes. " What 
was your regiment?" says one. "After I 
was promoted to Major I served with the 
so-and-so; but my fighting days were spent 


in the Old Regiment." That is his sufficient 
claim to distinction and preferment. 

In the time of which I write the Old Regi- 
ment was furbishing up its battered accoutre- 
ments after one campaign, and getting itself 
in handsome trim for another. This was an 
occupation that palled upon it after a little, 
for it smacked of the smug safety of civil life. 
Its forte lay in the field. It had a way of 
CToinof forth with more cartrido^es and men 
than another regiment, and of coming back 
with fewer. That was why all the young 
men with a life apiece to throw away quickly, 
made haste to enlist with the Old Regiment. 
But now its chief end seemed to be to draw 
an oiled rag through a shiny gun-barrel — an 
occupation for old soldiers with a satiated 
taste for fighting. And garrison days were 
unconscionably long in coming to an end. 

The headquarters were at a post on a west 
Texas prairie. Here were six companies out 
of the ten, and a troop of cavalry. Brave, 
decrepit old Colonel Randelmann was in 
command, with portly, empurpled Major 
Remmick second. It was isolated, as army 
posts usually were ; but the army being at 
all time sufficient unto itself, the Old Regi- 


ment did not care. It was a good station, 
as stations went, and assignment to it was 
regarded as a mark of favor. The Old Reg- 
iment always made the best of ever3-thing, 
and accordingly appreciated its temporary 

A long, low row of dingy brown cottages 
made up the officers' quarters, and were 
known collectively as the "Line." One 
could stand at either end on a day when the 
piazzas were occupied, and have a clear view 
of each cottage and family to the other. The 
builders had used a rough native stone, and 
chinked it with native mud. From the ma- 
jority of chinks the mud had fallen ; so that 
each dust-storm was necessarily followed by 
a fierce day of house-cleaning. These open- 
ings also gave free entrance to the native 
vermin of the land — to centipedes, scorpions, 
and tarantulas ; but the Old Regiment was 
accustomed to more dangerous and insidious 
foes, and sat undisturbed. The Line extended 
the length of the parade, and was faced on 
the opposite side by the men's barracks, also 
of stone, with long porches. The men sat 
there of an evening, and their pipes glowed 
through the dusk. And in hot weather they 


swung hammocks from the porch roof, and 
slept there through the night. Behin'd the 
barracks was yet another row of weather-worn 
cottages, occupied by married soldiers. Their 
wives were generally laundresses, except in 
the cases of exalted non-commissioned officers, 
and gave to this section of the settlement the 
name of " Calico Row." Beyond, there were 
the adobe walls of the corrals, with the 
stables, the hay- and wood-yards, and the 
world over which the quartermaster held 
sway. Quite independent was the Old Regi- 
ment in its girt-about station. 

It was an admirable parade ground on 
which the quarters looked ; as level as a floor 
and liable in wet seasons to be transformed 
into a shallow, wadable lake, to the great 
delight of the children. The water disap- 
peared quickly, and the grass came up short 
and thick, and of a delicate green, as became 
its quick growth. It would be dotted with 
prairie flowers of various tints, blooming but 
for a day, and without fragrance. As the 
hot sun scorched the grass, and the feet of 
tramping men thinned it, multitudes of cir- 
cular holes the size of a lead-pencil appeared 
in the soil. These were the entrances to the 


chambers of tarantulas, and endless fun did 
the garrison children have around and about 

From the centre of the parade rose the tall, 
tapering flagstaff, wavering from the plumb, 
and leaning heavily on its Inany props like an 
old soldier on his crutches. It had seen its 
best days, and was an object of solicitude. 
Near it was a square upraise of stone, on 
which the sundial was placed. Regularly, 
with the anticipated arrival from West Point 
of a newly fledged Second Lieutenant, the 
old sundial was destroyed ; and the first duty 
required of him was to build another. 

" A sundial ! " he exclaimed in dismay, 
vaguely remembering that some mention of 
such a tiling had been made at the Academy, 
" What on earth is wanted of a sundial ? " 

" To tell the time with," was the curt reply. 

" But what's the matter with your clocks ? " 

" Such a misfortune ! They are all unreli- 
able, and the best have been allowed to run 
down. We have no way of telling the cor- 
rect time ; we are living by guess. You are 
just the man for us — fresh from the Acad- 
emy ; you will know exactly how to build a 
sundial, and set us on our feet again ! " 


Two antique pieces of field artillery stood 
in front of the headquarters building, and an 
ordnance sergeant was maintained to care for 
them. The morning and evening guns were 
his particular function. With infinite care, 
lest there should be a grain too much for the 
old guns, he would weigh out the powder 
charge, tie it methodically in the cartridge- 
bag, ram it down the throat of the gun with 
a stated number of motions, prick it twice — 
never more or less — insert the friction primer 
and jerk the lanyard, while the gun roared 
through all the length and breadth of the 
post, and the flag fluttered up or down its 
staff. He was a creature of mechanical meth- 
ods, was the ordnance sergeant, and had more 
spare time than any other man. Yet he al- 
ways maintained a pleasing fiction of being 
busy on official matters, insomuch that his 
large, perspiring wife, who had charge of the 
bachelor officers' mess, could never count upon 
him for the least assistance. She believed im- 
plicitly in his labors, and was often indignant 
at a government that required such steady ap- 
plication from its soldiers and paid them so 
poorly for it ; and she took into her service 
one Mezique, a comely negro ex-trooper, a 


"left-over" from the last garrison. For some 
reason, probably no more distant than the 
sutler's bar-room, he had not been re-enlisted. 
So he remained behind when the colored cav- 
alry rode away, and snapped his fingers at 
destiny. He was a hunter, knew every wild- 
turkey roost in the region, and brought many 
a fine bird to the bachelors' table. His sole 
remaining purpose in life seemed to be the 
raising of pointer puppies, which he presented 
feelingly to officers yet unwary — and later 
borrowed from them in sums of five dollars 
each. Thus did he manage to exist with a 
maximum of comfort, and to know more days 
of leisure than of labor. 

The sheep and goats were divided as by a 
great gulf along the length of the parade. 
One side was to the commissioned strength, 
the other to the enlisted. Across this gulf 
only the strictest official intercourse was sanc- 
tioned. Unbending orders were given to the 
offspring of either side ; and it was only when 
the officers' children were unusually wicked, 
or the soldiers' children unusually daring, 
that they came together on childhood's terms 
of democratic equality. Even the dogs of the 
two halves recognized the distinction, and 


bore each other an impLacable hatred. Let 
an officer's dog encroach the least trifle on 
the thither side of the parade, and barracks 
resounded with the war-cries of sokliers' dogs 
rushing upon him. Then the invader turned 
tail and incontinently fled to his own domain, 
unless supports were at hand, when a battle 
royal would ensue. And similarly, no bar- 
rack dog ever prowled bone-seeking about 
the officers' kitchens. Each set had its own 
hunting-ground, and kept jealously to it. 

Despite its inaction, the Old Regiment was 
happy. It was in a land of delights for the 
hearty and open-handed. Fine fishing and 
hunting abounded without the limits of the 
post. The shot-gun was busy near at hand, 
and farther away, in sundry canons and along 
strange water-courses, the rifle brought down 
large game. There were houses to live in, 
and families were brought out from the states 
and installed in them. .The blue of sky 
overhung the green of earth, with the gay 
banner of the army's love flying mid-between. 
The bugle called to duty, not danger. Life 
became placid. A chief excitement lay in 
visits to a little town that had sprung up 
under the protecting presence of the post, 


but even tliat was tame. The life of the 
army lay within itself, and every going be- 
yond the garrison gates was a trip into a 
foreign country. The birds flew unceasingly 
in circles above, and the water of the creek 
rippled forever past ; but the Old Regiment 
sat in its station, resting. It had its seasons 
and its changes, and now had come the day 
of retrospective quiet. 

The set of quarters occupied by Major 
Remmick was half-way down the Line, and 
dominated the others b}^ a full half-story. 
For this was a two-story house ; the" others, 
even that of Colonel Bruff, the new com- 
manding ofificer, boasted but a story and a 
half. The Major and Mrs. Remmick were 
the least bit in the world proud and satisfied 
that they had been able to retain this set 
through the changes consequent upon the 
retirement for disability of old Colonel Ran- 
delmann and the coming of the new Colonel 
to his kingdom. 

Colonel Randelmann had been a bachelor, 
a man from the volunteers, and one of the 
simplest minded, most honorable men that 
came acceptably through the fierce winnow- 
ing of the Civil War. He was one of tliose 
few whom the curt record of the annual Army 
Register shows to have enlisted in '61 as a 
private, and to have graduated in '65 as a 


brigadier- or major-general of volunteers. But 
fi'om having been an insatiable fighting man 
in his youth, in his age he had contracted an 
intolerable habit of campaigning to whoso 
might be found to listen. The daily duty 
in consequence of which he swung his stiff 
wooden peg over the parade ground, from 
his quarters to the office and back, was 
scrupulously performed ; but the trip had ac- 
quired for him the perils of a flank movement 
in the face of the enemy. He prosed of past 
deeds, and not infrequently forgot his in- 
ability to do others like them. In despite of 
this forgetfulness, or perhaps in consequence 
of it, he was shelved upon the retired list. 
It nearly broke the old soldier's heart. The 
years of his service seemed very few and in- 
complete as viewed from the large end. But 
if he sorrowed, the regiment rejoiced with 
a chastened joy. Colonel Randelmann was 
well liked, and the regiment had been proud 
to be commanded by a man with so excellent 
a record. But» his departure meant the com- 
ing of a younger man, with probably increased 
activity in service for all. So Colonel Ran- 
delmann vacated his end set of quarters, and 
was escorted from the fjarrison to the mellow 


notes of trumpets that were quite as ready to 
send forth triumphant Wasts upon the first 
sight in the distance of his successor. Colonel 
Randelmann had been in the array years 
enough to know this Avas the inevitable ; he 
accepted it with bowed head, and went his 

" Now," said Mrs. Remmick to the INIajor, 
" we might just as well make up our minds 
to being ranked out of quarters. This is the 
best set in the post, and it isn't likely that 
Mrs. Bruff will be satisfied Avith anything 
short of that." 

"I suppose not," said the Major, with regret. 

" Then, of course, it will shift along down 
through all the officers. Every one will have 
to move." 

" Got your eye on the set you'll take, eh ? " 
inquired the Major. 

" We shall certainly follow the example of 
our seniors, and take the best we can get, 
Major; and that will be Captain Eagan's." 

" That's right. Everybody will drop a 
notch, and the nih man Avill choose between 
a tent and a garret," remarked the Major, 
with pleasant forethouglit. He was a true 
disciple of the principle of army etiquette, by 


which every newcomer at a post may seize 
upon the quarters of any officer below him in 
rank, and cause an upheaval all through the 
lower part of the Line. " Eagan will rank 
out Barrett, and he the next, and so down to 
L3'ndon; and then the lieutenants will take 
a shuflle." 

A knock was at the door. " Hello ! " 
shouted the Major. "Come in!" Captain 
Lyndon entered. 

" Good evening, Captain," said the Major 
and Mrs. Remmick in concert. He was well 
liked by both. Mrs. Remmick, with busy 
hospitality, insisted upon the most comfort- 
able chair for the caller, and trundled it forth 
for him. He accepted it with the slight 
embarrassment that might be looked for in 
a man accustomed to sit on cracker-boxes 
with a luxurious sense of satisfaction. Major 
Remmick laughed in good-natured commen- 
tary upon his wife's endeavors. 

" I've seen the time when the ground was 
good enough for Lyndon," said he. Lyndon 
laughed with him at the memory of old cam- 
paigning days. 

" Yes, and you too," said he. 

"It isn't good enough now for either of 


you," Mrs. Remmick declared. " You are in 
garrison, where it's your business to be com- 
fortable in a civilized way. You are not 
hunting Indians — or being hunted by them." 
She concluded with a pleased expression that 
indicated her joy in all her surroundings. 

" And yet we may be on the hunt to-mor- 
row — for quarters," said the Major, unable 
to get away from the train of thought started 
by his wife. 

" That's so," ejaculated Lyndon, as though 
suddenly recalling a fact. " The new C. O. 
is due then, isn't he, with bag and baggage, 
wife and maid? Where do you expect the 
lightning to strike ? " 

"• Right here in our midst," said the Major, 
with solemn satisfaction. "Mrs. Remmick has 
the thing definitely settled. We are to start 
tlie ball rolling, and you will see a very pretty 
burst of speed when it gets down among the 
lieutenants. We can have no gain without 
some small loss, and according to Mrs. Rem- 
mick in this case we gain one colonel, and 
lose one set of quarters all 'round." 

Mrs. Remmick raised one finger, and called 
out warningly, " Now, Major, I'm not so bad 
as that." She continued to Captain Lyndon, 


" I am hoping some one will take that vacant 
set Colonel Ilandelmann had and so stop the 
trouble ; for indeed it is a great trouble, just 
as you are settled in your quarters to have 
some one come along and turn you out." 

" I agree with you," said Lyndon. " It 
might seem that the more pay and the more 
rank a man gets, the more careful he should 
be about inconveniencing and annoying others. 
But somehow, when we come to the question 
of choosing quarters, that pretty theory is lost 
sight of." 

" Perhaps you would do away with the 
choosing of quarters altogether," said the 
Major, skeptically. 

" Yes, I believe I would. The pay and 
allowances that go with long years of service 
and increased rank are all right ; a man earns 
all he gets. But this other question presents 
itself to me as a mere matter of selfishness. 
These houses, all very much alike, are built 
by the government for the use of its officers, 
and I do not recognize it as a fact that any 
outward circumstance gives one man prece- 
dence over another in choice." 

He spoke quite dispassionately, but the 
sentiment was not pleasing to the Major. 


" It is hardly so much a matter of selfish- 
ness as of convenience, Lj-nclon," said he. 
" When a station is newly garrisoned, much 
worry and irritation is avoided by having 
quarters taken in succession from the ranking 
officer down." 

" It could be settled by lot quite as satis- 
factorily. But that is not this case. Major. 
Here we have a garrison nicely settled, and 
the coming of one man may change the entire 
face of it." 

" It is his privilege, and I would not deny 
him the exercise of it," said the Major, some- 
what stiftly. Mrs. Remmick interposed to 
check his humor. 

" The Major expects to be a colonel some 
day himself," said she in a half-aside to Lyn- 
don. Remmick laughed as heartily then as 
either of them, though not so much at hav- 
ing remotely selfish motives attributed to his 
argument as at the faint shadow of a coming 
colonelcy. But this was very well under- 
stood. Similarly, Lyndon had hopes of be- 
coming a major. 

" I hope I may live to see the day, and if 
he ranks me out, I shall bear him no ill-will," 
Lyndon declared heartily. " But at the same 


time I should feel bound to protest against 
the system. If the Major had been sitting in 
this chair when I came in, and I had said, 
' Give me that chair ; I prefer it to any other 
in the room,' I should only have illustrated 
the working of the system." 

" Xot altogether," said the Major, mightily 
pleased to score a fine point. " Not a perfect 
illustration. You wouldn't have got it. I 
am the ranking officer." 

" Well, if you came to my quarters and 
demanded my chair, then." 

" That's inadmissible, too, because I should 
never think of doing such a thing. That is 
not army usage; it is not even common 

" For my part," said Mrs. Remmick, " I 
think courtesy should take precedence over 
the rights of rank. Don't you. Captain?" 

"Its assumed rights — yes. Courtesy be- 
fore all. Major, I am corrected. I should 
not wait for you to demand my chair; I 
should hasten to offer it to you." 

A pleased murmur of approval greeted 
this statement of Lyndon's. 

" Ye-es, courtesy is a good thing ; it's all 
right," conceded the Major, after a little 


pause ; " but I believe in usage and the 
Regulations. Of course, if you can do any- 
thing for another without incommoding your- 
self— " 

" Oh, Major ! Where is your sense of hos- 
pitality ! " screamed Mrs. Remmick, in dis- 

"It wouldn't be courtesy then, I fear," 
said Lyndon. " Now we have time and again 
seen some new lieutenant, whose rank hardly 
entitled him to a tent on the parade, come 
out with a wife, and no place to put her; 
harboring a general trust in the harmony of 
the world and the love all people must bear 
them, by virtue of their loving each other. 
Oddly, as it may seem, that trust is not alto- 
gether misplaced ; for just as often we have 
seen senior officers — bachelors, of course — 
give up their own comfortable quarters and 
crowd themselves into uncomfortable spaces, 
simply as a matter of courtesy. The new 
man had no choice of quarters ; they would 
give him a set of their own. The young 
couple probably do not fully appreciate such 
kindness till they have had years of the life, 
and the army has been rubbed into their veiy 
grain. But it is done, year after year." 


" That is so," said ]\Irs. Remmick, with an 
approving nod of the head. 

" Yes. It takes off what I suppose you 
would call the curse of the system, too," said 
the Major. 

" Why, partly," consented Lyndon. " Only 
some fellows get tired of doing it in the 
course of years. They take their quarters 
and stick to them, unless ranked out." 

" Well," observed Mrs. Remmick, after a 
pause, during which the two officers had 
made a trip to the sideboard in the dining- 
room, clinked glasses, and returned with 
a fresh cigar apiece, "as I said, I hope we 
won't be ranked out." 

" Did you say that, my dear ? " inquired 
the Major. 

"Why, yes — or I meant it, anyway. We 
are all so nicely fixed now, and I had asked 
Millicent out for a visit. A niece of ours, 
Captain," she continued, turning to Lyndon. 
" She has never seen an army post, and she's 
said to be a very pretty girl, by her photo- 

" Oh, this is she," said Lyndon, making two 
steps to the mantel and openly admiring a 
likeness he had already glanced at several 


times. " She is pretty, indeed. What is her 
name, Mrs. Remmick ? " 

" Millicent Harding. She is a daughter of 
my brother, and botli her parents are dead. 
She has been studying art in Paris and New 
York, and I haven't seen her in years. Now 
she is alone, I think I have a duty towards 
her. And besides that, I really want to see 

" It's another case of the army sister-in-law, 
Lyndon," said the Major, cheerily. 

But Mrs. Remmick very properly objected 
to such sentiments. 

" Major ! How can you ! Millicent is a 
sweet, lovely girl. I think the last time we 
were on leave you thought more of her than 
3'ou did of me. And she's perfectly devoted 
to her art." 

" Regularly wedded to it," coincided the 
Major. "Suppose she will bring it with 
her?" But Mrs. Remmick ignored him. 

" I shouldn't have much hope of her com- 
ing if it were not for the new scenes and 
ways of life she will find to study," she said. 
"She will be no burden for entertainment 
upon you bachelor officers, whatever the 
Major may hint, for she is completely 
wrapped up in her work." 


" She'll have all the bachelors in garrison 
posing for her pictures before she's been here 
a week," the Major declared. 

" Speaking for one of them, I don't doubt 
it," said Lyndon ; and the frank avowal 
caused inquiring smiles from both. Captain 
Lyndon was not regarded as a garrison gal- 
lant. He was in no way a ladies' man. At 
present he was newly promoted to a cap- 
taincy, and was devoting himself to his com- 
pany in a way that called forth remark from 
all. When he declared his readiness to as- 
sume a pose at the will of an unknown girl 
artist, his speech was open to a suspicion of 

" At any rate," he said, as he rose to take 
his leave, " I hope you will not be disturbed 
in your comfortable quarters, and that your 
niece may make as intimate a study of army 
life as she desires. Now," he added to him- 
self, "I guess I've squared myself for that 
break about ranking out." 

The next afternoon, as he was passing 
Major Remmick's quarters, Mrs. Remmick 
came out on the porch and spoke to him. 

" Of course you know Colonel and Mrs. 
Bruff have arrived and are staying with us ? " 
she asked. 


"I saw their ambulance come in this fore- 
noon," he replied. " They had a hard ride 
from the railroad ? " 

" Not so very." She came down the steps 
and spoke in a low tone. "I was so afraid 
she would want these quarters when she saw 
them, but I couldn't do less than ask them 

" That's the penalty of your high rank." 

" Yes ; but she isn't going to take them. 
They have decided on Colonel Randelmann's 
old set. I'm so glad ! " 

" I rejoice with you, and so will all the gar- 
rison. And now you can have your niece — 
the artist — " 

" Millicent Harding," she prompted. 

" Yes — Miss Harding — " 

" Got a letter from her to-day. She will 
come. Oh, we shall be very gay now. Cap- 

"I believe you. One. girl sometimes goes 
a long way towards livening up a post." 

" That's true enough. You are all coming 
in to-night ? " 

" Every one of us, from Eagan down to 
Wallace. The band will bray on the parade ; 
ice-cream and cake will be served — Mrs. 


Remmick and the dairy fates willing ; a mas- 
ter of ceremonies will run affairs ; and I guess 
we'll make the new Colonel think he's sti-uck 
the finest regiment in all the service." 

"As indeed he has," said Mrs. Remmick, 

" Amen to that ! " cried the Captain, pass- 
ing on. 


There was no doabtful forecast concern- 
ing the success of the reception to be ten- 
dered the new Colonel that evening. The 
regiment had as deep a pride in its social 
reputation as in its fighting record, and this 
was an occasion upon which it was ready to 
expend itself. It was not every day that it 
got a new commanding officer, and when it 
did, it thought no more than proper to give 
him a taste of its quality, so that he might 
the more higlily appreciate his own rare good 

And Colonel Bruff had a reputation of his 
own as well. He was known as one of the 
sternest, most uncompromising old-line fight- 
ers in the army, a man with a rigid sense of 
justice, and an impartial dispenser of old 
army discipline. The regiment was glad to 
get him, and glad to attest its joy. Such a 
man was bound to promote the efficiency of 
any command, and the regiment was proud 


to be considered at all times liiglily efficient. 
There was no division of sentiment on that 
point. Where the honor of the regiment was 
concerned, the regiment was always united. 
It now rose to a point of social honor. It 
was desirable that Mrs. Bruff should admit 
that the regimental ladies entertained more 
delightfully than those in less favored por- 
tions of the army, and that Colonel Bruff 
should be impressed with the gallant and 
courteous bearing of his officers. Their brav- 
ery was a matter of record, and if Colonel 
Bruff needed to be refreshed concerning it, 
he would be obliged to consult the record 
itself. The regiment never exaggerated its 
old dangers ; it spent no time in lauding its 
old glories ; it was always looking up and 
pushing ahead to new ones. 

The bachelor officers assembled at their 
mess-room, and came up the Line to Major 
Remmick's in a body. At the same time the 
married men, with their wives and daughters, 
came from their quarters. From every point 
of the garrison wherein the commissioned 
strength resided, small rivulets of blue and 
gold flowed, uniting in the effective stream 
that poured through Major Remmick's open 


door. The word having ofone forth that the 
reception would begin at a certain hour, it 
began at that hour, — not a moment sooner 
or hxter. It was a matter of pride with the 
regiment that this should be so. 

" But talk about your procrastination ! 
Punctuality is the thief of my time," breathed 
Wallace, the junior lieutenant, as he bound 
himself about with a gilded belt and joined 
the bachelors' column. 

" How so ? " demanded the man next him, 

" Because I was counting on a half-hour in 
which to prink and make myself look pretty, 
and I didn't get it, you were so confounded 
punctual. It's a clear case of robbery." 
Upon this, he was regarded with compassion- 
ate glances, as being one not yet addicted to 
all the regimental virtues. 

Captain Eagan, flanked by his wife and 
supported by two daughters, was the first to 
pass the welcoming door. This was by de- 
sign, as he was the next lower in rank to 
Major Remmick. Following this order of 
seniority came the captains, from Barrett 
down to Lyndon, and the first and second 
lieutenants, ending with Wallace. 


Just within the parlor door stood Major 
Remmick, very purple as to the face, owing 
to his tightly buttoned dress-coat. Each 
succeeding relay was received by him, and by 
him presented to the Colonel. Then they were 
gently forced along to where Mrs. Remmick 
stood with Mrs. Bruff. Mrs. Remmick had 
not asked any of the garrison ladies to assist 
her in receiving, because she regarded Mrs. 
Eagan as unavailable, being a cavalry 
woman — Captain Eagan commanded the sin- 
gle troop of cavalry at the post. And having 
decided against the highest ranking lady, 
she would not pass over her, and take regi- 
mental ladies lower in rank. This was well 
understood. The regimental ladies approved 
of ]\Irs. Eagan's rejection, and of the delicate 
courtesy toward her that robbed them of 
invitations to assist ; and Mrs. Eagan herself, 
seeing Mrs. Remmick receive alone, was 
mollified. It was as she herself would have 

There was a certain stately rhythm and pre- 
cision in the utterance by Major Remmick of 
the rank and name of each officer, and its 
repetition by Colonel Bruif. No breath was 
wasted ; in that coat, the Major had none to 


waste. Thus, from the Major : '' Captain 
Burns, Mrs. Burns." And from the Colonel : 
" Good evening. Captain Burns ; Mrs. Burns, 
good evening." " Captain Lyndon." " Good 
evening, Captain Lyndon." A single shake 
of the hand from each to each, dealt with 
military exactness ; no favoritism. " Mr. 
Willard." "Good evening, Mr. Willard." 
The Major was below the captains now, and 
in conformity with army custom was present- 
ing the lieutenants with the civilian prefix, 
"Mr." "Mr. Thompson, Dr. Sanders, Mr. 
Lawrence, Mr. Bates, Mrs. Bates, Mr. Mil- 
ler." And so in slow procession to the last, 
when the Major unbent. "And here's the 
recruit, Mr. Wallace." "You have the left 
of the line, Mr. Wallace," said the Colonel, 
and all laughed at his ready application of a 
military expression. It did not matter that 
they had heard it similarly used many times 
before. Wallace blushed in great embarrass- 
ment under the unexpected pleasantry from 
a notoriously grim old disciplinarian. A lit- 
tle breath of relief went round the room, and 
all felt that the reception had opened very 
well indeed. 

The ordeal of presentation passed, the good 


Major stuck liis thumbs in his belt, and be- 
trayed his satisfaction in the smile that deep- 
ened on his purple countenance ; and even the 
Colonel looked around and nodded to Mrs. 
Bruff in a manner expressive of his concur- 
rence in the sentiment. The ladies chatted 
desperately among themselves, and the officers 
stood about erectly, with their hands clasped 
behind them, and pretended to enjoy easy 
converse ; but very generally they kept one 
intelligent eye on the Colonel to observe 
what his mood or intention might be. Major 
Remmick, by virtue of his rank, seemed de- 
puted to draw him out. 

" Well, Colonel, you've seen the lot of us," 
said he, with the conciliatory air of a show- 
man after a doubtful performance. "In- 
fantry, cavalry, staff, doctors, and all." 

"A fine looking set of men. Major," re- 
sponded the Colonel, seeing what was ex- 
pected of him. " I have been with many a 
regiment in my time, but none, I am sure, 
that it will afford me greater pleasure to 
command than this." The sentiment was 
echoed down the room from man to man, and 
induced a comfortable feeling towards the 
new commander. 


" The regiment is not a muchly married 
one, is it, Mrs. Remmick ? " inquired Mrs. 

" Not as much as some, Mrs. Bruff. Some 
of the companies at other stations have the 
full complement of wives, I believe ; but 
those at headquarters have not. Don't you 
think so, Mrs. Burns ? " 

" Oh, yes, decidedly. They are very much," 
said Mrs. Burns, at random ; for she had been 
telegraphing to her husband, and had not 
caught the conversation. 

"• But I am sure I shall find them pleas- 
ant," continued Mrs. Bruff, with determined 

"Dear me, yes. The Major and I — well, 
we have been in the regiment for years, and 
there is absolutely never any trouble." 

" Oh, we are quite like a family of sisters," 
cooed Mrs. Burns. 

" Yes, indeed. I hope and believe you will 
find us all pleasant to serve with, Mrs. 
Bruff," said Mis. Remmick, anxiously. 

" Oh, I am quite sure of it," said Mrs. 
Bruff, positively. 

Just then refreshments were brought in, 
and the attempts at chat ceased. The ladies 


were settling themselves for the bit of lunch? 
and the men, standing against the wall, were 
watching the progress about the room with 
trays of the soldiers pressed into service for 
the night, and estimating their own ability 
to manage plate, cup, and saucer with but a 
single pair of hands. 

There was one thing about it, Mrs. Rem- 
mick reflected in a comfortable state of mind ; 
the china was good, and Mrs. Bruff could 
hardly fail to be surprised at its quality and 
condition, so far from a purchasing town, 
from a railroad ; in fact, from civilization. 
Some of it was Mrs. Remmick's own, some 
had been loaned by Mrs. Burns, some by Mrs. 
Willard, and some by young Wallace, who 
had indulged his untrained fancy in an ex- 
pensive mess kit just before joining. The 
silver, which was solid, had been gotten to- 
gether in the same way, but its varieties of 
weight and of pattern made the levy rather 
in evidence. These reflections would have 
been disquieting to any but an army woman ; 
but to Mrs. Remmick, accustomed through 
long years of service to all degrees of ingen- 
ious makeshifts, they favorably indicated the 
resources of the regiment, and she knew Mrs. 


Bruff would look upon the matter in the 
same way. After all, as a final argument, 
Mrs. Remmick might have said that it was 
not her reception ; it was the regiment's ; 
everybody who could, had a hand in it, and 
it was only by a happy chance that her quar- 
ters were made use of for the purpose. It 
was altogether proper and quite to be ex- 
pected that the regimental silver and china 
and napery should be thus gathered and 
exposed to view. 

Buttered biscuits, half-way between hot 
and cold, were offered with small cups of 
chocolate. Cake and ice-cream followed. 
The men fought gallantly against odds to do 
justice to the fare ; but more than one silently 
drew a comparison between this occasion and 
various evenings in camp, when a man might 
sit on a bent bush with the meat-can on his 
lap and the coffee-cup on the ground beside 
him, with the occasional arrival from ambush 
of unexpected bullets to give a zest to the 
appetite. By a curious hitch in their reason- 
ing, those camp days were days of stern duty, 
and this, an evening of blandishment and 
pleasure ; and they honestly held to that use 
of the qualifying terms, and attempted no 


Mrs. Bruff, eating her ice-cream with a 
heavy spoon engraved " W," wliich did not 
stand for Remmick, took occasion to say it 
was very good. " It must be quite like hav- 
ing a dairy of one's own to live in the midst 
of a grazing country," she added. 

" You will hardly believe me when I tell 
you it is next to impossible to get a drop of 
milk or cream," said Mrs. Remmick, earnestly, 
and the other ladies nodded their support of 
her assertion. " Here we are in what the 
]\lajor calls a 'cow country,' but it's little 
enough milk or cream that we see. If it 
wasn't for Sergeant Burke, who keeps a cow, 
we should be at a pretty pass. The ranches 
don't supply us with anything. And the ice- 
cream, let me confide to you, is half corn 
starch." She communicated this startlinof 
information behind her hand in a whisper 
that was heard by all the ladies and half the 
men. But they received the statement with 
unconcern, for every family on the Line had 
been levied on for cream before resort was 
had to corn starch. And it was an open 
secret that condensed milk also had been 
brought into requisition. 

" And the ice," continued Mrs. Remmick 


before Mrs. Bruff could make more than an 
ejaculatory comment, — " the ice with which 
the cream was frozen came from Lake Michi- 
gan. That to me is the strangest thing of 
all, stationed as we are on the hot plains, 
two thousand miles from Michigan, and four 
days' march from a railroad. As the Major 
says, we have to go a good ways for our bless- 
ings these days." 

"And I say it again. Didn't we have to 
go to Montana this time for Colonel and Mrs. 
Bruff?" asked the Major, who had come 
behind his wife's chair as she talked. Every- 
body laughed at this, some nervously, all 
unrestrainedly, and Mrs. Bates, the young 
wife of a young lieutenant, shook her fan at 
the Major and said he was perfectly killing. 
This was flattering to the Major's strain of 
humor. He was fortunate in having Mrs. 
Remmick to hold him in check, and to tell 
him from time to time that he was not so 
witty as he might imagine. 

The conversation had been like a succession 
of detached fortifications crowning a row of 
eminences, with wide passages between. The 
fire from the hill-tops failed to search these 
spaces ; but there was an able ally provided. 


The regimental band had been ordered out, 
and was stationed on the parade directly in 
front of the Major's quarters. On a trip over 
the creek Mrs. Remmick had discovered in 
the store which dominated the frame-and- 
canvas town, a dozen Japanese lanterns, sur- 
vivals of some Fourth of July stock in trade. 
These she had bought, and the field music 
and soldiers' boys held them above the heads 
of the bandsmen as they played. Under their 
influence, and spurred on by a hope of privi- 
leges and beer, the band played its very best, 
which was also its very loudest. Conversa- 
tion was impossible while it was at work, 
and Lyndon, catching the Major in passing, 
shouted in his ear that it was a bright idea 
to get the band out. The Major could only 
grin and nod appreciatively as he went on. 

It became apparent that the ceremonies of 
the evening were at an end with the refresh- 
ments, and there remained but the trouble- 
some business of getting out. For this, the 
formation, offensive and defensive, was simi- 
lar to that attending the getting in. Hands 
were taken and dropped, good-nights said, 
and assurances of a delightful evening re- 
peated. Colonel Bruff had been fairly re- 


ceived and acknowledged as the executive 
and administrative head of the regiment, and 
Mrs. Bruff had taken her place as First Lady. 
The new power was formally installed. 

As they went down the Line from the 
Major's, some of the officers turned in with 
Lyndon at his quarters; and Lyndon hailed 
others who were ahead. 

" Won't you fellows come in ? We've got 
all night to do this in." 

"Might as well continue the wheel," re- 
marked Lawrence, who thereupon returned 
with a bachelor contingent. And Willard 
shouted back, " I'll come in immediately," 
which was taken to mean as soon as he had 
escorted Mrs. Willard home. Others came 
dropping in, and Lyndon had the pleasure 
of seeing his demijohn of a choice Mononga- 
liela brand deeply appreciated. 

" Well, what do you all think of him ? " 
suggested Burns, when a short retrospective 
silence had gathered on the group. 

"The C. O.? He's all right. Seems to 
be a good sort of old man," said the speakers 
for all. 

" He's a stickler, though, for regimental 


" Well, that's what we want, isn't it ? " 

" Yes, of course." 

" It is good enough, far as it goes," said 
Lawrence. " But we want a grand old man 
at the head of affairs ; a man that is a man, 
and not an automatic spool of red tape." 

" I reckon the C. O. will give you variety- 
enough. And red tape's all right in its way. 
Don't go sassing department methods," said 

" Oh, it has its advantages, but taken as a 
steady diet it is wearisome. And this regi- 
ment can't spell itself with a big red R when 
it is lying back like this, peacefully making 
out monthly returns and running garrison 
courts. We'll be getting flabby in our 

" It's a bloodthirsty boy, now isn't it ? " 
said Lyndon, playfully knocking Lawrence 
between the shoulders. " One would look 
for a string of scalps at his waist, instead of 
a brand-new dress belt." 

" I thought the old man had children," 
suddenly observed Eagan. 

" Oh no ; you're wrong. Never heard of 

"But he had, though," said Major Rem- 


mick, who had run out for a breath of air 
after the reception, and been attracted by the 
light in Lyndon's quarters. 

" Go ahead, Major. Let's have it," cried 
the anticipative crowd. There was some- 
thing in his manner that portended a story. 

" Don't get excited ; it isn't much. There 
was but one — a boy. I remember the little 
chap twenty years ago, when the Colonel 
and I were serving together in Kansas ; he 
was a captain then, and I was a lieutenant. 
This boy was smart as lightning. He didn't 
take to the Colonel's idea of domestic dis- 
cipline kindly, and as soon as he was old 
enough they sent him away to school. After 
that, he got into some bad row, we never 
knew what; but he was expelled, and the 
Colonel said he would never see him again. 
It was more than a mere school affair ; he 
went dead against his father's orders in some 
other way. And the Colonel is hell-fire and 
a rod of iron. Anj^way, that's all was known 
of that. 

" Of a sudden, then, the Colonel and his 
wife went East on leave ; and when they 
came back Mrs. Bruff was wearing black, 
and looked old ; and the old man was even 


grummer than ever. They were in mourning 
for their son." 

A little murmur of sympathy went through 
the gathering, and men nodded gravely as 
they listened. 

" It was very painful. Some of the ladies 
tried to sympathize Avith Mrs. Bruff, but the 
poor woman broke down in tears so that they 
had to quit. She could not bear to speak of 
it. And the Colonel invited no sympathy; 
he repelled it. He went about his duty look- 
ing exactly as he does to-day. So they have 
lived it down, and nobody says ' son ' to them. 
It's been hard enough on them, no doubt." 

" It would have been tough on the boy 
had he lived," said young Wallace, with 
ready feeling for juvenile trials. 

"What! Boy? I'm talking about the 
father. He's a law to himself, and nothing 
can swerve him from his idea of justice. He 
would have been impartially correct to his 
son — probably was ; but that's all." 

" But that isn't enough, is it. Major ? " asked 
Lyndon, quietly. And Wallace thanked him 
with a grateful look. 

" Well — he's just, anyway. And that's 
of first importance in our line of life," per- 


sistecl the Major. He had a weakness for 
maintaining his own unswerving allegiance 
to discipline ; it was when theory was put 
aside and the moment of practice came that 
his true belief was made known. 

Eagan gave a harsh sort of a laugh that 
turned all eyes to him. 

" I'm thinking, Lyndon, your company will 
come in for a touch of his iron hand," said 

" That will be all right," said Lyndon, with 
affected carelessness. " He will give me jus- 
tice, according to the Major here, and that is 
enough for me." With the conservatism of 
officers of long standing he shrank from 
discussing regimental affairs with men from 
other regiments. All friction and all experi- 
ment, he held, should be covered from the 
outward view. 

" Well, I like him, and I believe he likes 
us," said Willard. " But that's neither here 
nor there. It isn't a question of likes and 
dislikes, but only of duty under whatever 

"Yes, we all like him," said the others. 
But it was more a matter of pride than of 
affection. He was a good commanding officer, 


and under him they were satisfied of a vigor- 
ous administration. 

Lawrence was the last to say good-night. 
He was Lyndon's first lieutenant, and pur- 
posely staid behind. 

"If the C. O. should go to coming down 
like a thousand bricks," said he when they 
were alone, " he'll be likely to take a fall out 
of you, Lyndon." 

" I'm not on the run yet," answered Lyn- 
don. " I know most of the captains think I 
am too lenient with my men, but you know 
for yourself what kind of discipline I have." 

" None better." 

" You know my views. I don't believe in 
the machine soldier; I don't believe in the 
court martial for every petty break ; I do be- 
lieve in looking after the physical and moral 
welfare of the men. It isn't a matter of res:- 
ulations, but of principle. I hope the old 
man won't go to being crabbed, for it might 
be unpleasant." 

" I hope not. And anyhow, I'll back your 
judgment with all the chips I've got," de- 
clared Lawrence, warmly. 


The morning after the reception Colonel 
Bruff took over the command of the post 
from Major Remmick. It was not an affair 
of ceremony. While guard-mounting was in 
progress the two officers came out, and walked 
together slowly towards the headquarters 
building. The Colonel stopped for a moment 
to look narrowly at the men in line, consti- 
tuting the new guard, and to note the appear- 
ance of the band. He made no criticism ; 
the Major expected none. The habit of in- 
spection was one they possessed in common, 
drawing it from their service. They knew 
the men of one regiment should, theoretically, 
appear no better than those of any other, and 
that in practice there was seldom a noticeable 
difference. A certain standard of require- 
ments was exacted from all ; for those who 
fell below, squad drill and the " setting up " 
exercises until the requisite soldierly facility 
should be acquired. Had the guard turned 


out sloucliily, the Colonel might have spoken 
of it, or the Major felt called upon for an 
apologetic statement of cause. But there 
was no occasion for criticism, and as for com- 
pliment — it is possible that the Colonel felt 
a little thrill of pride at sight of his own men, 
for this was to be his regiment, now and 
henceforth, till promotion should again touch 
his shoulder straps. But he would not have 
betrayed such an emotion to the Major, or 
have allowed its existence to be even sus- 
pected. Stern self-control and the suppres- 
sion of emotion were parts of the Colonel's 
stock-in-trade. His voice might have be- 
trayed him ; and so, no matter how highly 
he might think of liis men, no matter how 
strongly their natty appearance might impress 
him, not a syllable escaped. After gazing a 
moment in contemplative silence, he strode 
on to the office, and the Major subordinately 
followed, a fraction of a pace to the rear. 

The office door stood ajar, and they passed 
within, to the room devoted to the adjutant's 
use. Save for the orderly on duty, standing 
at attention statuesquely, it was vacant. 
The adjutant. Lieutenant Willard, was at 
that moment conducting guard-mounting; 


they could hear his voice ringing across the 
parade in the commands preparatory to march- 
ing in review. Straight beyond was the office 
of the sergeant-major ; and turning through 
an interior door to the left, they entered the 
office of the commanding officer. 

" Colonel, I turn over the command to 
you," said Major Remmick at this point. 

The Colonel cast a glance over the interior. 
The national and regimental flags stood in 
their cases in the corner ; there were the 
usual official books of reference, the plain, 
office furnishings of a simply conducted mili- 
tary post. His observant eye took it all in, 
even as he made acknowledgment. 

"Very well. Major," said the Colonel, 
quietly. The two officers touched their cap 
visors in slight military salute. The Colonel 
sat down behind the flat-topped desk, ready 
to administrate the affairs of the post. Major 
Remmick drew up a chair, and the two spoke 
of matters connected with the office. Wallace, 
going by to the post library, glanced in and 
saw them thus. To the group he found over 
the books he said the Major was giving the 
C. O. pointers, and that the gentlemen present 
had better turn over a new leaf each in 


deportment immediately. They smiled sig- 
nificantly at his irreverent youth, and he 
sank behind an old copy of a daily jDaper, and 
assiduously read the advertisements. 

The Major was speaking of the commis- 
sioned personnel of the regiment. " The staff 
has shown itself efficient," said he. " Mr. 
Willard as adjutant and Mr. Thompson as 
quartermaster are capable of any duties in 
their departments, and unless you have 
changes in view — " 

" I have none, Major," said the Colonel, 
quietly. " I presume they will send in their 
resignations as is customary on the advent 
of a new commanding officer, but I do not 
expect to accept them. I shall no doubt be 
quite satisfied with the appointments made 
by my predecessor, Colonel Randelmann." 

The Major heard him with pleasure. " I 
think you will," he rejoined. " You will find 
the commanders of companies quite generally 
attentive to discipline, and the command is in 
accordingly fine trim. Of course, all do not 
agree as to the best methods, and do not 
always enforce the letter of the regulations. 
But the general result is good." The Major 
stumbled painfully through this statement. 


He wanted to say a good word for Lyndon, 
whom he liked, before it should be possible 
for the Colonel to take exception to any of his 
methods. But what he did say only aroused 
questioning suspicion in the Colonel's mind. 

" I do not see how there can be any dis- 
agreement. The regulations are very explicit. 
Please explain yourself. Major." The Colonel 
tapped nervously on the desk as he spoke. 

" I mean degrees of leniency. The same 
infringement of discipline does not have the 
same weight with all of them. We have some 
captains who would yet string a man up, or 
buck and gag him ; and we have others 
who I believe would never think of such a 

" Regulations are against any corporal pun- 
ishment," observed the Colonel. " But some- 
times the temptation is great. I should prefer 
to err on the side of strictness. That, to my 
mind, produces the best results." 

" Yes, sir. But in this case we have the 
record to show for the result. The guard- 
house book will show that the prisoners from 
the companies with lenient captains are no 
more in number than from others." 

" Which proves nothing save that leniency 


is there. It does not establish discipline," 
said the Colonel, testily. 

" That is so. And yet, I would add that 
from one such company desertion is practi- 
cally unknown. That is a desirable feature. 
I do not wish to be understood as advocating 
any departure from regulations. Colonel," 
added the Major, as though in fear of being 
thought biased. 

"I should hope not, sir. Regulations are 
made to be observed," said the Colonel, drily. 
And then he added with a keen glance : 
" Which is this model company ? " 

" I had reference to Captain Lyndon's com- 
pany. It may appear a bit strange that he, 
who is the junior captain, should seem most 
successful in company discipline. Old stag- 
ers who served through the war do no better 
than he. It may be his progressive ideas — " 

" Progressive nonsense ! " belched the Colo- 
nel so vehemently that the Major started. " I 
don't want any of this stuff and nonsense. 
Every new lieutenant comes in with new-fan- 
gled nursery ideas of coddling tough, grown- 
up men who fight for a living. A pretty lot 
they'd have to take the field with ! I will 
have none of it. Major, this regiment has 


but one guide for conduct — and the book of 
Regulations is its Bible ! " 

He grew red in the face and glared upon 
the junior officer as though in him he had 
discovered an arch-offender. The Major 
shuffled his feet uneasily, and had no reply 
to make. He was conscious that guard- 
mounting was over, that the adjutant was in 
his office without, and that other officers had 
gathered there in accordance with the morn- 
ing custom. He knew by the outer stillness 
that the Colonel's outburst had not been un- 
noticed by them, and that they would in their 
hearts say he was receiving the first wigging 
at Colonel Bruff's hands. This rankled. It 
mattered not that it was a misconception, or 
that he might open the subject to them and 
explain it in a way to down the idea. He 
knew he could not speak of it first to any one, 
and that no one would mention it to him. 
Such proceeding Avould have been without 
the bounds of official courtesy. By and by 
the incident would be forgotten ; but till 
then he would bear the uncomfortable knowl- 
edge that the captains were secretly sym- 
pathizing with him, and that the graceless 
lieutenants, whom he had himself occasion- 


ally rated, were chuckling to see the tables 
turned. It was simply one of the petty an- 
noyances of the service. It was now his part 
to preserve a calm unmoved exterior, and 
theirs to avoid any indication of having 
heard aught. 

A knock sounded on the door. " Come 
in ! " called the Colonel, unnecessarily loud. 
His irritation had not yet abated. It was the 
old and new officers of the day, reporting the 
state of the post for the past twenty-four 
hours, and asking orders for the new tour. 
They presented the guard report for exam- 
ination, and Colonel Bruff went through it 
systematically. He thought fit to call atten- 
tion to one entry, holding his finger on the 
line as he did so. 

" ' Burton, H company, confined at mid- 
night by Captain Burns. Released at re- 
veille by order of his company commander.' 
Who is his company commander ? " 
" Captain Lyndon, sir." 
" What was the man's offence ? " 
" I don't know, sir," said the old officer of 
the day. " I inquired, but the sergeant of the 
guard could tell me nothing. He was both 
confined and released without my knowledge." 


" I shall inquire into this," said the Colo- 
nel, stiffly. " If a man's offence is sufficient 
to warrant his being placed under charge of 
the guard, he should certainly be brought 
before a court martial. This haphazard con- 
fining and releasing is playing at cross-pur- 
poses. No new orders, gentlemen ; that will 

With another comprehensive salute the 
two officers swung on their heels and went 
from the room. Colonel Bruff turned to 
Major Remmick with the queerest of smiles 
edging his lips. 

" I profess to you. Major, the kindliest feel- 
ing toward my command, commissioned and 
enlisted," said he. " Captain Lyndon is un- 
doubtedly an excellent officer, and I should 
dislike to — " He made a little gesture 
with his hand, at which the Major nodded. 
" I know it is a custom with some command- 
ing officers to put a man. in the guard-house 
and withdraw him again, leaving no official 
record of the matter beyond the entry in the 
guard-book. I do not approve of that." 

The adjutant entered then with the con- 
solidated morning report, the day's passes, 
and various other papers, which he laid be- 
fore the Colonel. 


" I shall request you and Mr. Thompson to 
continue on the staff during the remainder of 
your terms of appointment," said the Colonel 
to him at sight of two official forms of resig- 
nation. Willard bowed in acknowledgment. 
" Charges against Private Burton," continued 
the Colonel, picking up another paper. 

" He was released this morning, sir," said 

" I understand so. I wish to see Captains 
Burns and Lyndon regarding it." He touched 
the bell on his desk, and the orderly appeared 
in the doorway, in answer. Willard de- 
spatched him in search of the two officers. 
While he Avas gone, the other routine matters 
of the morning were attended to. 

" Captain Burns," said the Colonel, when 
the two officers arrived, "I wish to know 
why you confined Private Burton last 

" He was out of his quarters, sir, and near 
the officers' line. As I was going home about 
midnight I saw him in the shadow, near the 
quarters of Major Remmick. He would give 
no reason for being there, and so I confined 

"Why did you release him this morning, 


Captain Lyndon?" asked the Colonel, with 
an air of strict impartiality. 

" He was reported absent from the com- 
pany at reveille. I found him in the guard- 
house. He had not been drinking — he does 
not drink. He is one of my most trustworthy 
men. When he assured me he was bent on 
no harm, I believed him. He asked me not 
to press him for a reason for his being out at 
midnight, and I respected his request. He 
did not seek to avoid punishment; he did 
not complain. I released him on my own 
responsibility, for he is a man whom I can 
trust." Lyndon delivered himself of this in 
as unimpassioned a manner as possible. He 
believed from his foreknowledge that the 
Colonel's judgment would be against him, as 
he knew the sentiment of Captain Burns to 
be. He did not care so much about the last 
matter, however ; he and Burns had already 
had their explanation. 

"Hereafter," said the Colonel, slowly, 
" when a man is put in the guard-house, I 
will myself judge of the propriety of his 
imprisonment, and will myself give the order 
for his release. I can understand, Captain 
Lyndon, your natural pique at having one 


of your men imprisoned by another officer 
with no word of it to you ; but you should 
regard the present circumstances." 

" I am not aware, Colonel, that I have 
acted from pique in this case," said Lyndon, 

" Hereafter you will not act at all. I shall 
myself control the discipline of the post. 
And you will now. Captain Ljmdon, proceed 
to your company barracks, and cause Private 
Burton to be replaced under charge of the 
guard. That will do." 

After that sentence of absolute dismissal, 
there was nothing for it but to go. Argu- 
ment would have been useless, and possibly 
worse than that. The Colonel had turned 
from the two officers, and was busying him- 
self with papers as though he had been alone. 
After all, the autocratic way has much in it 
that is admirable. 

Once outside. Burns grasped Lyndon's 
hand. " This is most unfortunate, old man," 
said he. There could be no bar to his talking 
to Ljaidon of the event, for he had been a 
participant. " If I could have foreseen this, 
your man might have slept all night on the 
porch of the Colonel himself before I'd have 
said a word to him." 


"Yes, I can appreciate that," said Lyndon, 
" but I fear I can't keep with you on that 


" What do you mean ? " 

" Burton being in, I would have liberated 
him just the same, let the consequences be 
what they may." 

" Yes, I know you would. Well, that's all 
right. Look here, Lyndon. You may be 
lenient with your men, but it strikes me you 
are strict enough with yourself. In this case 
you would hold yourself to your idea of duty, 
while I would let duty slide." 

" That will do for talk ; I know you. But 
seriously. Burns — what he said, you know 
— about a bit pique — " 

"Rot and nonsense! Don't I know it? 
You forget I've been some years in the regi- 
ment with you, Lyn. And now, to prove it, 
I'll tell you what I think of our brand-new 
colonel." He made a tube of his hands, and 
otherwise evinced a desire for secrecy on the 
open parade, within sight of all the doors and 
windows of garrison. 

" Well ? " said Lyndon, laughing at his 

"That he is a dandy in the field and a 


devil in the garrison. It takes some of both 
kinds to make our tight little army. Run 
along now and put your man in the guard- 

And there being absolutely no help for it, 
Lyndon did as he was bid. 


The absolutism displayed by Colonel Bruff 
in the small matter of Private Burton was 
regarded by the garrison as a fair sample of 
what might be expected at all times. Sever- 
ity had been anticipated, for the Colonel's 
reputation was established throughout the 
length and breadth of the army. If some 
had looked for a period of gentle adminis- 
tration at the first, they were disappointed. 
Colonel Bruff was long accustomed to com- 
mand, and from the moment he sat in the 
seat of the colonel of the regiment he had 
been possessed of no uncertainty as to his 
course of action. As a result of army expe- 
rience, he acted vigorously and promptly. 
The Burton case came "up on his first day 
of command, and gave him an opportunity. 
Otherwise the garrison might not have had 
a taste of his quality so soon. 

A garrison court martial was at once con- 
vened, to remain in force during the presen- 


tation of fifteen cases. There were already 
several prisoners in the guard-house, doing 
penance for minor offences, and they, with 
Burton, were at once brought before the 
court. Without the spoken expression of an 
opinion, the commissioned force seemed pos- 
sessed of the idea that their own duties might 
be performed with a trifle more snap than 
had been common, and still no harm be done. 
Time had been when a man might lie a close 
prisoner in the guard-house 'for a week, while 
the judge advocate made futile efforts to 
gather the members of his court ; and even 
at that, the trial might result in a finding of 
"not guilty." The soldier had then no re- 
dress for the wrongful imprisonment he had 
endured, but accepted it stoically as an inci- 
dent of military life. But now, when young 
Wallace went forth to find his court, all three 
of the members were promptly on hand, and 
met, per notification, of an early morning hour, 
in the court-martial room. 

The squad of prisoners came over from the 
guard-house, attended by a corporal and a 
number of sentries. One at a time they were 
summoned before the court, and stood trials 
of an average length of five minutes. They 


were mainly charged with drunkenness and 
absence from various military duties. They 
seldom attempted any defence, acknowledged 
their guilt with unexpressive countenances, 
and were at once remanded to the guard- 
house. They could forecast their punishment 
with considerable accuracy ; for a garrison 
court had but limited powers, and quite gen- 
erally adjudged penalties in accordance with 
the terms of an accepted schedule. Thus, a 
soldier on the lingering edge of virtue might 
say to himself: "If I go to the sutler's to- 
night and get drunk, I shall miss reveille in 
the morning ; then the court will soak me for 
a two-dollar blind. Is it worth while ? " The 
answer would be dependent upon the sol- 
dier's predisposition and the attractions then 
offered by the sutler; but if it was in the 
affirmative, the court seldom failed to satisfy 
his expectations. 

When Burton's case was called, no defence 
was made. Wallace, in his dual capacity of 
judge advocate of the court and of counsel 
for the prisoner, had ascertained from Burton 
that his plea would be " guilty," and no wit- 
nesses had been summoned for either side. 
The charge was read, the plea of " guilty " 


entered, and Burton remanded to the custody 
of the guard. The court reached a finding 
in accordance with the plea. There was 
then a slight pause. 

"Will some one propose a sentence?" 
asked Wallace. 

Major Remmick, who was president of 
the court, came from behind his newspaper. 
"The charge was — ?" he inquired absently. 

"Out of barracks after taps," said Wallace. 

" And he pleaded guilty ? " 


"Ah-h, somebody give a guess. It ain't 
worth much," he concluded, returning to his 
paper. It was too slight a matter to occupy 
his attention on a drowsy forenoon. No one 
appeared impressed with the enormity of the 

" Dollar," at length was suggested by Law- 
rence, the junior member. No other penalty 
was proposed. 

" One dollar ? " inquired Wallace, directing 
an interrogatory glance on each member. 
Nods and grunts signified assent. " Fine, 
one dollar," said Wallace, making a note of 
it. Lawrence laughed cynically. 

" Wish now I'd said two bits," said he. 


" No more cases to come before the court," 
Wallace amiounced, with relief. It was his 
duty to write out iu prescribed form the pro- 
ceedings in each case tried, and to submit 
them to the adjutant the next morning. lie 
had quite enough to occupy him for the day. 

" If's no objection, court's adjourned. Court 
is adjourned," declared the Major, rising from 
his chair and buckling on his sword. Then 
the dispensers of justice walked forth with a 
step of conscious integrity from the scene of 
their completed labors. 

Garrison duty was not arduous, only tedious. 
The Line was crowded, many officers were 
present for duty, and there was nothing to be 
done beyond an occasional roll-call, an hour 
of drill, and the sundown parade. It is not 
to be doubted that thanks were offered up 
for even the milk-and-watery excitement of a 
court martial. 

It was a custom with the officers to assemble 
each morning at headquarters to salute the 
commanding officer and to exchange greetings 
with each other. After this formality, time 
would occasionally hang heavy and show a 
disposition to linger in the garrison, till many 
a man had more of it on his hands than he 


knew what to do with. The shadow on the 
old sundial, planted midway of the parade, 
crawled with exasperating slowness ; the gar- 
rison flaQ- hancr motionless in glowing bars: 
the flagstaff listed wearily from the perpen- 
dicular ; dogs arose, stretched, and slept again ; 
the pulses lagged; the world ceased swinging; 
and over all was unappeasable time, slowly 
dissolving in the silence of eternity. In these 
echoes of great solitudes, young and unaccus- 
tomed lieutenants sometimes became morose 
and irritable ; but oftener they developed a 
congeniality with surroundings, and lived 
a placid, contented, routine-duty existence, 
broken only by sudden and unfrequent ex- 
cursions of a warlike character in the field. 
These were anticipated with eagerness, and 
dwelt upon afterwards with tenacious regard. 
Wallace had said, soon after joining, that he 
was disappointed in the life ; he had looked 
for something active and stirring, and he 
thought his athletic training had missed of 
its purpose. But after a few of those emer- 
gency calls for outside duty, he admitted that 
there was another side to it, and was satisfied. 
" And after all," said Burns, who was 
Wallace's captain and the patient victim of 


his soul's outpouring, "garrison life isn't so 
bad. There's one feature jou forget." 

"Wliat is that?" asked Wallace, perfunc- 

"The ladies," said Burns, with finality. 

" Oh yes ; they are ever with us," returned 
the youngster. " I didn't forget them. How 
could I?" And then he laughed wickedly 
at the memory of stories told him of garrison 

"No, I didn't suppose you had forgotten 
them, but I thouglit you might remember 
them a little better. It comes pretty hard on 
them sometimes, this life does ; but they 
don't grumble half as bad as the men. I've 
been in the army thirty-five years, and mar- 
ried for every one of those ; I have had some 
experience in these matters," said Burns. 

" Yes, I reckon that might be so," assented 

" What would a post be like without them ? " 
demanded the Captain. 

Wallace considered f arsightedly. " I know," 
said he. " It would be just a hell-hole." 

"That's what," said Burns, emphatically. 
He added disconnectedly ; " That's good 
whiskey of yours, Where'd you get it ? " 


"It's some I had sent up from Galveston," 
replied Wallace, setting out the glasses. 
" How ! " said the two simultaneously, and 
drank. " It is smooth stuff, but 'most gone. 
I'll have to come down to e very-day drinking- 
fluid pretty soon," Wallace added. 

"All whiskey's good, but some is better 
than others," said Burns, speaking from his 
experience of thirty-five years and quoting 
the " Kentucky Colonel." 

Wallace lay back in his chair, and twirled 
his empty glass uneasily. He was thinking 
of making a confession, and dreaded to do so, 
the more as he knew it would be entirely 
unexpected by Burns. It had several times 
presented itself to his mind as the proper 
thing to do, but never had an occasion so 
propitious as this occurred. Burns had fairly 
introduced the conversation, and had induced 
this thought, in speaking of the army women. 
At last he cleared his throat with so mighty 
an effort that Burns looked up in surprise. 

" Bronchitis ? " he asked. 

" No. Heart trouble," said Wallace, with 
an uneasy laugh. 

" I'm sorry," said Burns, with a doubting 
twinkle in his eye. 


" I ought to tell you," began Wallace, " as 
you're my captain, and I'll likely be with 
your company some years, I think I ought to 
tell you something of my plans." He hes- 
itated, and Burns looked at him kindly. 
" Before many months, I want to get a leave, 
and go back East. There — I'm — engaged 
to a girl, back there — and I want to marry 
her and bring her out." 

He stopped quite out of breath and with 
his heart in his throat, wondering how Burns 
would take it. Some captains, he knew, 
preferred bachelor lieutenants, because they 
required but little baggage space on marches 
from station to station. 

" How soon do you mean to do this ? " 
asked Burns. 

" We haven't settled on the date yet," said 
Wallace, at once introducing the girl as a 
factor, " but within a year, surely." 

" Well, if I might give you a bit of 
advice — " 

" Certainly." 

" I would say to wait till you rank some- 
body. You are the junior lieutenant now, 
and would have to depend on charity for a 
housekeeping set of quarters." 


" It's a shame the government doesn't 
provide more quarters ! " declared Walhice, 
angrily, voicing a sentiment as old as the 
army. The Captain looked at him with an 
amused expression, and said : — 

" That's so. But the government's quite 
shameless in the matter." Then he added 
in an entirely different tone, " I suppose you 
thought this would surprise me, didn't you ? " 

" Why, yes. I am sure no one knew it. 
I have told no one but you," replied the boy, 
himself surprised. 

" That's where you are wrong. Every- 
body knows it, — ' everybody ' meaning the 
ladies and those they have admitted to their 
confidence. So I have been expecting this 
from you." 

"I am glad I told you," said Wallace, 
simply. " But how did they know ? " 

" By the chance exercise of a little feminine 
ingenuity for which they might be praised, 
not blamed," said Burns. " It comes from 
the weakness of Savage, the old soldier who 
distributes the mail. He is so old and de- 
crepit that he can do nothing else, you know, 
so he is kept at that till an opportunity 
comes for sending him to the Soldiers' Home. 


He is a box of chatter and gossip, and takes 
a childish delight in playing postman. He 
never forgets the quantity or quality of any 
one's mail. To test his memory, the ladies 
sometimes ask him how others on the Line 
have fared. ' Was there any mail for Mrs. 
Burns this morning?' one would ask. ' Yes, 
ma'am, two letters and a postal,' he would 
say. ' And did Miss Burns have any ? ' 
' She had a paper and one letter, but I couldn't 
make out the postmark.' So it would go. 
They say it is all for the pleasure of testing 
Savage's memory, but it might be turned to 
2:)ractical account. You probably see how 
they became satisfied you were spoken for?" 

" I suppose so," said Wallace, slowly. 

" Many letters — similar appearance — 
square envelopes — feminine handwriting — 
same postmark — easy enough, you see." 
Burns laughed good-naturedly, but Wallace 
was not happy. 

" I don't mind it's being known," said he, 
" but in that way — You know, I don't like 
it. Of course there's no harm done, but it 
shows a spirit that — that I don't like. It is 
too much like interference. It doesn't matter 
this time, but some time it might be different." 


"But it's a fine check, don't you see?" 
persisted Burns. " A fellow is going to walk 
pretty straight when he knows that every 
woman in garrison will be listening to the 
sound of his steps. It is a great moral en- 
gine," he added, laughing with a touch of 

"I think. Captain, that an officer in the 
army should be very careful how he walks, 
without regard to comment. You know 
we are always hearing about the ' high army 
sense of honor,' and officers are expected to 
be a little more strict in their ideas of right 
than other men. I don't object to that — I 
rather like it; I want to be thought very 
honorable. But we both know that officers 
are given to fostering that notion among 
civilians; and here we get down to inside 
facts, and find that they have to have a spur 
to stand in fear of. I tell you it makes me 
feel that there's no more honor in the army 
than out of it, and I've always flattered my- 
self that there was." Wallace looked very 
soldierly as he said this, and quite ready to 
renounce everything for the sake of an ideal 
standard of honor. 

"It's a grand check," repeated Burns, 


lamely, harking back over Wallace's fine 
outburst. "It is an excellent thing when 
you come to look at it in that way." 

" But I don't look at it that way," persisted 

"Never mind: it's all right. You will — 
after you are married," laughed the Captain. 


For an unfledged chick at soldiering and 
a presumable ignoramus in the fine art of 
strategy, Wallace did some very good work 
after the visit of his captain. In the course 
of his thoughts that night he decided that 
it would be impolitic for him to wait for the 
suggestive glances and words of the ladies to 
worm from him the fact of his engagement, 
and he was sure that would be their next 
step. For himself and for the girl he meant 
to marr}^,- it would be much better that he 
should bravely announce the condition of 
his expectations. 

Sallying forth the next day, he looked up 
and down the Line for a weak point on 
which to make his attack ; and seeing a con- 
course of ladies on Mrs. Remmick's porch, 
concluded that a kind fate had thrown them 
in his way, and turned towards them at once. 
He preferred to engage the enemy en masse 
rather than to scatter his force from point 



to point, and be obliged to trust in many- 
independent tongues for the telling. As 
he walked, he whistled. Object, apparent 

" Here comes Man-With-A- Girl - In - The- 
East," said Mrs. Bates beneath her breath as 
lie approached. Every one looked up. 

" Oh ! Mr. Wallace I Dear me," murmured 
Mrs. Remmick. 

" Don't let him hear you call him that ! " 
gurgled Miss Burns in Mrs. Bates's ear. " If 
he should know that we know what we know, 
it would spoil all the fun ! " She snuggled 
in her seat with a kittenish motion, and 
anticipated Wallace's arrival with enjoyment. 
She had acquired the certain age at which 
single women enjoy inflicting delicate torture 
on a male victim. 

" Good morning, everybody ! " called Mr. 
Wallace, genially, throwing off his cap and 
seating himself on the lower step. There 
was a chorus of glad replies. Mrs. Remmick 
pressed him to come up on the porch, but he 
would not. " I like this place," said he. "It 
is safer. I can talk with you and gaze upon 
3^ou all from afar, and if need be, I can 
execute a masterly retreat." 


" The idea of running away from us ! " 
ejaculated Mrs. Eagan. The group laughed 
shrilly at the mental picture of a lone lieu- 
tenant fleeing down the Line from their pres- 
ence. The two little girls of Dr. Sanders 
came laughing down the steps, and sat be- 
side him and held his hands with juvenile 

" You can't run away from us," they de- 
clared triumphantly. 

" I'd never want to. But why couldn't I ? " 

" Because we'd run away with you," they 

" Well ! Bravo ! Mrs. Remmick, here 
are two deserters from your camp," cried 
Wallace. "Are there more to follow? At 
this rate I'll soon be strong enough to hold 
my own against you." 

" We see so little of you nowadays, Mr. 
Wallace," interjected Mrs. Bates, mildly tak- 
ing him to task. " Are you .so busy? " 

" Not so busy now as before the mails got 
so irregular. That deranges my daily plan 
of life," said he, with a smile intended to 
provoke comment. It had the desired effect. 

" Oh, Mr. Wallace ! Have you so many 
correspondents, then ? Or is it all to one ? 


You neglect us shamefully! We tJiought 
there was something on your mind." 

" Not on my mind — my lieart ; and such 
a weight! Ah! If I dared unfold — But, 
no. And here comes Savage with the mail, 
after an unexplained absence of three days. 
All other considerations will now kindly sink 
from sight." 

The old soldier came limping laboriously 
up the Line, and stopped at the group. He 
had mail for nearly everybody, but before 
delivering it he performed his more immedi- 
ate military duty of saluting Wallace punc- 

"Lef tenant, I knocked at your door, but 
I didn't get no answer, so I just left your 
mail on the hall table," said he. 

"That was all right, Savage. What was 

" There were the papers, sir, and some offi- 
cial correspondence, and three letters, sir." 

"Three! That's one a" day for the past 
three days. Are they alike or different. 
Savage ? " 

" All alike, sir, with big square envelopes, 
and long slantin' handwritin'." 

"Ah, yes. Those will be from my fian- 


c^e." He said this as though to himself. 
There was an unmistakable rustle of surprise 
above him on the porch, which he uoted with 

"Yes, sir, I expect they be," assented 
Savage, with the deferential manner of a 
soldier in the presence of his officer's opinion. 
" Shall I go and fetch them up to you, sir ? " 

"No, never mind, Savage. They'll keep. 
It's all right." Then, as the old soldier 
saluted and limped awa}', he turned and 
nipped an outburst of pretty exclamation. 

" That slipped out unawares," said he, de- 
ceitfully. " It was awfully awkward of me 
to speak so before Savage, but it was kind of 
him to aofree with me. It shows we have an 
understanding. Just suppose that he had 
denied the statement — what a pickle I should 
have been in ! " He laughed a little at the 

" But are you really, truly, engaged, then ? 
And ought we to congratulate you ? " queried 
Mrs. Bates, eagerly, and in the greatest 

" If you don't, I shall take it as very un- 
kind of you, I am sure ; for I really and truly 
am engaged, and I really, truly, came up just 


now to announce the fact. Wasn't that 
kind of me ? You will overlook my abrupt 
method, I am sure. And here's her jDicture," 
he added, handing up a photograph. It was 
passed from hand to hand, and everybody 
said she was a very pretty girl. 

"Now tell me that you're all immensely 
surprised," he implored, when he had gotten 
his property back. 

"Indeed we are. You were never sus- 
pected," declared several, in close succession 
and with varying degrees of emphasis. 

"Never suspected it in the world?" he 
insisted, looking from one to another in the 
group, inquiringly. 

" Never. Never," they repeated. 

"I am glad of that, for I like to be the 
bearer of good news and pleasant surprises. 
I didn't know but Savage had gotten ahead 
of me, and betrayed my confidence ; but for- 
tunately I find him trustworthy." 

" But you haven't told us her name ! " 
cried some one, suddenly. And others at 
once demanded her name as their just due, 
after having praised her photograph. 

But here Wallace grew red, and refused to 
be cajoled. He could not bring himself to 


speak her name before these women. There 
were some araono- them to whom he had no 
objection; they had not lent themselves to 
the deception. But he harbored a strong 
feeling of resentment against tlie others for 
the spirit of petty inquisitiveness they had 
displayed ; and before them his lips refused 
to speak the loved words. 

"She is no one you know, I'm sure," said 
he, somewhat ungraciously. " Til tell you all 
some time — before the cards are out." Fur- 
ther than this he would not say. And just 
then the orderly issued from headquarters 
and blew officers' call on the bugle in a ner- 
vous staccato that betokened something un- 
usual. " I'm in luck to-day," said Wallace, 
ambiguously ; and he immediately hurried 
away to join the officers then gathering in 
Colonel Bruff's office. 

Although the call was blown at an unusual 
hour, the group of ladies did not display a 
marked interest in it. There had been times 
in the experience of some of them when it 
had been a forerunner of months of danger- 
ous and difficult campaigning, during which 
they had been forced to remain alone and un- 
informed in stagnated posts. The memories 


of these days drove the blood back upon their 
hearts, and they looked at one another ques- 
tioningly. But a moment's reflection reas- 
sured them, and they did not voice the fear 
that had momentarily crept in. It happens 
that women in the army continually develop 
a rare degree of courage. On this occasion 
the lack of recent rumors of Indian troubles 
led them to believe that nothing serious was 
in the wind ; it might be some new feature of 
garrison discipline, or possibly some detached 
service, but nothing to cause general uneasi- 
ness. So they bent to the work in their 
hands, and discussed the announcement made 
by Wallace. 

Hitherto, it had been only whispered, but 
now that Wallace himself had sanctioned it, 
they could speak openly. The prospect, how- 
ever remote, of a new bride at the station, 
was pleasantly exciting. They reflected that 
she would wear the latest Eastern styles direct 
from the makers, which they could only build 
for themselves from published fashion plates 
and patterns. Thus her entrance would be 
attended v/ith danger to herself ; for an 
assertive and emphatic manner of apparel 
would be construed as a flaunt or a menace : 


and while her triumph would be as short- 
lived as the fashions themselves, yet she could 
be made to do penance in many ways for 
a long time after. And so the buzz passed 
from clothes to accomplishments, and looks, 
and nature, and family ; till Mrs. Eagan burst 
into a loud and disconcerting laugh, at which 
the infantry ladies looked up, displeased. 

"Dear me!" said she. "How we are 
running on, talking of her as if she was to 
come to-morrow. As like as anyway, half 
of us will never see her. To me, it would 
be far more interesting to know why Mr. 
Wallace made the announcement as he did." 

" I did not see anything peculiar about it," 
said Mrs. Remmick, tentatively, looking about 
her for support; and the ladies rallied to her 
with assenting nods. There was nothing 
strange about it, to them. 

" Well, it is a little different from the way 
in our regiment," said Mrs. Eagan, in expla- 
nation. " There, the announcement is always 
made first at the bachelors' mess, and the 
health of the bride-to-be is drunk in cham- 
pagne, and there are congratulations, and a 
good, sociable time generally. It is after that 
when the ladies learn it." 


" Yes ? That is a very pleasant custom — 
for some regiments — I'm sure," said Mrs. 
Remmick, assenting with care. " With us, 
we have no settled custom ; it has never been 
thought necessary or worth while. Our offi- 
cers are very considerate of the ladies, and 
knowing that we take a special interest in 
such matters, usually make announcements 
directly to us. I am sure we appreciate their 
kindness very mucli." 

" Oh ! That would never do for us. The 
regiment before everything else ! " declared 
Mrs. Eagan, setting her voice on an unpleas- 
antly high key. Her loyalty was unbounded, 
and she felt compelled to uphold the practices 
of her regiment against all comers. 

" Yes, that is the cavalry way," said Mrs. 
Remmick, with commiserating indulgence. 
"It is very delightful. But how dear the 
thought to us that we are first ! I do not 
believe our regiment suffers through the 
native chivalry of its officers." 

No, indeed! Her cohort of ladies agreed 
with her. And they set their stitches with 
careful precision as they reflected, between 
shots, on the advantage of belonging to a 
superior branch of the service. But Mrs. 


Eagan unfortunately betrayed a loss of 

" Well, I must say I don't think there is 
much chivalry in telling what is already 
known. With us, the officers take the bull 
by the horns every time. They don't go 
'round, grabbing at his tail," said she. 

" Oh, Mrs. Eagan ! " exclaimed several, in 
shocked tones. " That is perfectly dreadful ! " 

" Mr. Wallace acted very well about it," 
pursued Mrs. Remmick, in the smoothest 
voice. Her manner was not indicative of 
the sliofhest waimth of feelincr. " He made 
the announcement to suit himself, which was 
quite independent and quite right. You 
really cannot mean that his engagement 
was known — that he had already told it to 
others ? " 

" It was as good as known," declared Mrs. 
Eagan. " What with questioning jjoor, old, 
half-witted Savage, and putting two and two 
together — " 

"Dear Mrs. Eagan! You give us credit 
for too much perception ! Remember, please, 
we are only infantrj^" 

Mrs. Eagan knotted her work together. 
" Well, I must run home. I see the Captain 


coming from headquarters now. After all, 
the 7iiain thing is the getting married." 

^'■3Iust you go? Good by! No, the rest 
don't signify," they called after her. Then 
they settled themselves with little restful 
sighs, and looked upon Mrs. Remmick grate- 

"You are what J call a loyal woman, Mrs. 
Remmick," declared Mrs. Burns. 

" My dear, don't mention it," said the Ma- 
jor's wife, with true sincerity. " I do so 
detest these little garrison spats and wran- 
gles, and yet, when you see one coming you 
can't run away from it. I don't know why 
it is," she continued, shaking her head, " that 
the infantry and cavalry and artillery are 
always at each othei-'s throats, to say nothing 
of the staff at odds with all three. It doesn't 
seem right. It is not pleasant, but I suppose 
it has to be so," she concluded with fatalistic 

" It's professional jealousy, like actors, and 
— and those people," said wise little Mrs. 
Bates, giggling at her own theory. 

The officers were now seen issuing from 
headquarters, and several came directly up 
the parade to where the ladies sat. 


"I wish Mrs. Eagan Imd staid to see that," 
remarked Mrs. Willard. " Coming straight 
to tell us all the news." 

" Yes ; that substantiates my theorj^" said 
Mrs. Remmick, as she rose to receive the 
officers. " Come up, gentlemen. We are 
all attention." 

" It isn't much," began the Major. " Noth- 
ing but a stage robbery — " 

" The stage ! And Millicent — " ejacu- 
lated Mrs. Remmick, in fright. 

" Millicent ! She hasn't come yet, has 
she ? Calm yourself, my dear ; it is all right. 
The Colonel is going to put out a detail to 
ride with the stage and escort it each way. 
Millicent will have no trouble whatever." 

" It is most interesting," Lyndon declared. 
"He is a single man — " 

" Like myself," said Wallace, blushing red. 
They laughed at his avowal, for his secret 
was also out among the officers. 

" We'll hope so," said Lyndon. " But a 
single, bold, bad, robber-man. He is account- 
able for all the irregularities of the mail 
lately. If you ladies miss any letters, rest 
assured they will be found in his pockets — 
when he is taken. He is a bold fellow, if he 
is a road agent." 


" Road agents generally are," said the 
Major, commenting from experience. 

"Yes, and how gallant ! " interjected Wal- 
lace, with enthusiasm. " If there happens to 
be a woman on the stage, which isn't often, 
she might be as old as Methuselah and cor- 
respondingly ugly, but he wouldn't touch 

" Course not," assented the Major. "But 
how if she was young and pretty? That's 
what Mrs. Remmick is worrying about." 

" Same thing. Major," cried the bo}^ 
" Her watch and her purse remain hers. 
That's the story they tell about him — a 
regular Claude Duval, or any of those past- 

"We must expect Wallace to admire a 
gallant bearing wherever he may find it," 
said Lyndon, as though in apology for the 
youngster. " He is at just that congratula- 
tory stage in which he sheds his own chival- 
rous light on every one and every thing quite 
impartially." Wallace colored under the 
volley of light laughter this produced. 

" I wouldn't talk if I were you, Captain," 
said Mrs. Remmick, warningly. 

" I certainly have the right to talk,'" he ex- 


postulated. " I am only an old bachelor, and 
have no expectations like his," indicating 
Wallace. " I'm as steady and reliable as 
any old married man ; for instance, now, the 
Major here." 

"Old? Me old? I'll swear I'm the most 
youthful fellow here, barring looks ! " cried 
the Major, rousing himself. He shook his 
towsled head playfully, like a mildly assertive 

"When does the escort go out?" asked 
Mrs. Remmick, anxiously. 

" To-night. Lawrence goes with it in 
command, and takes camp at the Colorado 
crossing, riding both ways with the stage 
from there to Redtown. That's the part the 
gentleman of the road infests. A sergeant 
will have another detail at the Ten Mile 
water-hole, and take it the rest of the way." 

"I'm thankful," said Mi'S. Remmick. 

" When does your niece come ? " asked 

"We look for her in a couple of days, 
now. Coming so far, we are not quite sure 
what day she will arrive," she replied. 

" I will speak to Lawrence before he goes 
out, and he will be looking after her at Red- 


town, if lie goes that far — as of course he 
will," Ljaidon continued. 

" I wish you would. That's very kind of 
you, Captain. And Mr. Lawrence — " 

" Oh, he will be glad of the chance." 

" Well, thank him for me in advance ; or 
I may see him myself before he goes. I am 
Sflad it is Mr. Lawrence ; I wouldn't have 
anything happen to Millicent for the world. 
Think of being in the stage when it is 
robbed! She would be frightened to death 
at the very idea ! " 

" You mean you would be, my dear," inter- 
posed the Major. 

" No, sir ; I am speaking of Millicent. She 
doesn't know the first thing about this south- 
western country," she continued, turning to 
the group. " She is an artist, and spends her 
time between New York and Paris." 

" Sort of amphibious, as it were," explained 
the Major, gravely. 

"You ought to be ashamed to say such 
things about your niece, Major ! Call her a 
mermaid, why don't you?" Mrs. Remmick 
said this in such a way that the Major felt 
com[)limented. "She is a lovely girl, and 
very talented. She has had pictures in the 
Exhibitions ! " 


" I hope she will stay with us a long time," 
said Mrs. Bates. " We do get so stupid out 
here, away from everything and everj'body. 
I have not seen a picture since I was mar- 
ried." This was the new birth from which 
she dated her life. "I just long for some one 
to liven me up a little." 

" I have no idea how long she will stay," 
said Mrs. Remmick ; " but we are delighted 
at the idea of having her with us, and shall 
keep her as long as we may." 

Later, when they were alone together, the 
Major approached his wife with a quizzical 

" Why didn't 3^ou tell them Millicent would 
stay the usual length of time ? I was tempted 
to. They would have understood." 

"The usual length — " she repeated, won- 

" Yes ; stay till she gets married, of course. 
What else do girls visit isolated army posts 

" William ! You incorrigible ! I don't 
think Millicent would have to look far for a 
husband. When she wants one, there will be 
a plenty to choose from. She will have to 
spend no time in searching." 


" You will never make these women here 
believe anything else of her visit," he de- 

" Why, Millicent is devoted to her art ! " 


" Exclusively. You needn't shake your 
head ! She doesn't think of anything else." 

" She must be different from other girls," 
said he, skeptically. 

"She is," declared Mrs. Remmick, enthusi- 

"Now, you will never make me believe 
that," declared the Major. 

Mrs. Remmick came very close to him. 
" You are every bit as much a boy as when 
I first knew you, and you had nothing there," 
said she, flatteringly, and putting a finger on 
the field of his shoulder-strap. " And now 
you are a big, pompous major ! " She kissed 
him, presumably for the sake of the memory. 
" Now leave Millicent alone, and let her have 
a good time." 

" I will," said he, in mock humility. " I 
hate to see people have a good time, but I'll 
agree to let her alone. It's the only way to 
keep peace in the family." 

"Brute ! " said she, laughing. 


The west-bound express over the Texas 
and Pacific railroad makes a breakfast station 
of Redtown, and there is always a fine group- 
ing of Texan color at the depot for the sur- 
prised admiration of the travellers. But it is 
not entirely for effect ; the gathering is quite 
natural. The passing of the overland trains 
is an event, like the arrival of the circus ^ and 
the long line of cars, with rows of strange 
windowed faces, is a drawing card. The train 
is regarded with a sort of su^Derior toleration ; 
the faces of passengers are scanned curiously, 
for there is no telling whom one may not see 
in the breadth of travel ; and there is not so 
much envy of these speeding voyagers as 
there is of a sentiment of superiority to them. 
They whirl along the leagues, but can know 
little of the country, for Texas is wide and 
the line of rails narrow ; and the accustomed, 
acclimated ones who lounge about and view 
them have some of- the spurning of hardy 


pioneers for those who would come after 
them, reaping in peace and safety the fruit of 
their toiL 

Millicent Harding descended from the 
sleeper at Redtown, with a clear sense of 
relief at the accomplishment of the rail stage 
of her journey. From New York to Redtown 
is so far that one has ample time, even on a 
limited express, to weary of the miles. And 
yet the transition had been accomplished so 
quickly that she was quite unable to adapt 
herself at once to her surroundings. To her 
it was all as new and strange as a different 
civilization ; and it was not so very far from 
being this. It was not alone that tlie human 
beings about her were of a different type from 
anything she had bafore encountered, but 
that the very air she breathed was different. 
It came to her in its play over prairies of 
unknown extent, so strong, so virile, that it 
forced the lungs open and intruded itself in 
long, deep draughts. It bore into the heart 
a supreme sense of exaltation. Millicent had 
not been accustomed to think herself a poor, 
wretched thing of the walled-in city, but now 
she wondered with a secret joy at the change. 
It was so gratefully overpowering that for 


the first moments she was oblivious to every- 
thing else. Then she became aware of the 
curious gaze of strangely dressed men, with a 
sense of annoyance. But in a moment that 
j)assed. They looked upon her as with the 
soft eyes of dumb animals. And as her prac- 
tised glance took in colors and groupings, 
unstudied and picturesque, her first conscious 
thought was of a desire to whip out canvas 
and palette, and so to the picture before her. 
But all these accessories were in her baop-asre : 
and — this was eminently practical — the bag- 
gage must be looked after. That was for her 
to do, and quickly. 

A Jewish-looking man in plaids crossed 
her path with a lingering, sidelong glance, as 
she walked down the platform towards the 
baggage cars. A brown, blanket-clad Indian 
stood like a post, and she made a considerable 
detour around him. A drunken man, red- 
faced and filthy, staggered towards her, feebly 
singing, and was suddenly collared out of 
sight by a tall, lithe cowboy in chaps, with a 
revolver and jingling spurs. A swarthy 
Mexican followed her with his eyes, silently 
soliciting her admiration, as he gracefully 
swung his brilliant blanket into new folds 
about his slender form. 


And there were yet other travellers than 
herself, anxious about their baggage, — drum- 
mers from all the world, ranchmen returning 
from business trips, rolling stones out for 
pleasure only. The hissing of steam, the 
clatter of trucks, the rhythmical pounding of 
the dining-room gong, made a deafening din. 
People shouted at the tops of their voices, 
and even then were not heard. Millicent 
hesitated on the outer edge of the turmoil, 
dreading to take the plunge ; and yet it had 
to be done. And just then she heard her 
name spoken. 

" Pardon me if I am wrong, but is not 
this Miss Harding?" 

A slender young man in a uniform of blue 
and white stood by her, and she looked into 
his face with a springing sense of relief. 

" Oh yes." 

" I am Mr. Lawrence, from the post. Major 
Remmick told me of your coming, and kindly 
commissioned me to do what I could for you. 
Now, if you will let me take you to the wait- 
ing-room — or will you have breakfast? " 

" There was a buffet on the car, thanks — " 

" That is better. I have eaten at Redtown 
— once. We will go to the waiting-room. 


I'll take your checks, please. Everything 
else is quite arranged." 

She gave them to him thankfully. " I am 
so glad ! I really did not know what to do, 
it was so strange," she confessed weakly to 

He was back again in a marvellously short 
time, and took her to the stage, which was 
ready for starting. " They don't waste much 
time on this stage line," he explained. " For 
one thing, they carry the mail, and so they 
have to hurry. It will seem slow to you, 
however, after your journey. I know, be- 
cause I sometimes make the trip myself. But 
the stage gets through in a single day, and 
it's ninety miles. You can believe me, they 
attend strictly to business." 

Lawrence opened the stage door, and looked 
in. " Back seat, if you please," he said civ- 
illy to some one. " Back seat for a lady." 

The back seat was occupied by two men — 
one a ranchman known to Lawrence, the other 
the plaided Jew. The ranchman jumped up, 
but Lawrence put him back. 

" No, not you, Mr. Porter," he said. " You 
had engaged your seat. This one here I 
want," and he turned to the Jew. 


" But this is engaged too," said the occu- 
pant of it. " It is taken, occupied. Don't 
you see it is ? " 

Lawrence thrust his body within the stage, 
and for a moment there was the sound of his 
voice in quiet but convincing argument. 
From time to time Mr. Porter was heard as- 
senting. Then Lawrence sprang out, smiling. 

" Now, if you please," said he to Millicent. 

"I don't want to take the man's seat," 
Millicent protested in a whisper. "I heard 
every word you said, and it was awful ! I 
can ride backward just as well, or with the 
driver. I can't take his seat." 

" It is your seat," said Lawrence, decidedly. 
" It had been engaged for you. Believe me, 
it was only a misunderstanding on the part 
of the fellow. Lie did not know the custom 
out here. It is your seat by every right." 

"And what is this peculiar custom, Mr. 
Lawrence ? " she asked, still unyielding. 

" Just plain, common courtesy. That's all. 
You must get in. The stage Avaits." And 
to her surprise Millicent found herself taking 
the vacated back corner without further pro- 
test, and assisted thereto by a pair of strong 


"Mr. Porter, Miss Harding; niece of ]\Ia- 
jor Remmick." Lawrence performed a hasty 
introduction. "All right!" he shouted to 
the driver aloft. A crack of the whip, a 
sudden careen on leathern rocking springs, 
and the stage rolled forward to the beginning 
of its ninety miles. 

Without knowing it, Millicent smiled to 
herself out of real pleasure at her experience 
with Lawrence. Here was a young man, 
gentle and dignified, who did not consult her 
preference but assumed to judge for her, and 
who, with complete courtes3% compelled her 
to accede to his judgment. To be sure, she 
was in a strange land, one to which he was 
as a native; possibly he knew best. But 
such autocracy on an hour's acquaintance 
amused her. Since such a happening had 
not been hers before, she concluded it must 
be the army way. She was inclined to think 
there was something likable about it, but on 
this point she was not quite clear. It might 
be simply her satisfaction in having the most 
comfortable seat in the stage, for she could 
understand that she had. All the seats were 
occupied, and the ousted Jew faced her from 
the front. He looked unhappy as he jolted 


back and forth with the motion of the steer- 
age. He did not have the moral grace of his 
seatmate, who bumped along with philosophic 
unconcern. The Jew's acute misery affected 
her, and she determined to offer him her seat 
at the first stopping-place, out of sheer pity. 
Of course there would be towns and stopping- 
places every few miles. 

She was the only woman passenger, but 
that gave her uneasiness on but a single 
score. If the men wanted to smoke, she knew 
she would never have the courage, thus 
unsupported, to say she objected. And there 
were cigars sticking out of their pockets. 
And tobacco-smoke was hateful to her. And 
then she caught the untainted breath of the 
new morning blowing through the windows, 
and the outside world claimed her attention. 
It eclipsed all other matters; it was worth 
her while. 

The road was taking them over a gently 
rounded country, rich with short, green grass, 
and broken here and there in its smoothly 
swelling distances by bushy patches, much 
like transplanted sections of a forest's under- 
growth. Coming nearer these, they were 
seen to be little groves of mesquite, hardly 


to be dignified as trees. The thickets were 
sparse and thin, and among them were many- 
cattle. Millicent was dimly conscious of the 
ranchman beside her saying to the man in 
front that cows were coming on well. This 
chance remark became to her as a part of the 
landscape. As they fled down slopes and 
rolled smoothly over the succeeding summits, 
she viewed a limitless plain, with everywhere 
cattle, cattle, feeding on the green grass. In 
that clear air one could see for miles, and far 
away dots and specks transformed themselves 
into more herds to please the ranchman's 
eye. They were the riches of the country, 
and the season was prosperous. Nowhere 
was there a sign of roof or habitation of man, 
and it gave her a feeling of awe, of sacrilege, 
to be thus boldly penetrating a land popu- 
lated only by dumb beasts. The vastness, 
the uncontrolled extent, of these solitudes 
impressed her with a sense of human little- 
ness and of her own unimportance in life. 
She wondered that her companions could 
speak of cattle and their money equivalents 
in such a place, at such a time. And then 
she reasoned that they were accustomed to 
it; it was an old story, and familiarity made 


it common ; they were no more impressed by- 
it than she woukl be by miles of paved streets 
and vistas of blocks of high houses. But 
would it ever become an old story to her? 

Occasionally they came upon brown patches, 
where the grass had been eaten away into tlie 
roots. Little mounds stood irregularly about 
these places, with small brown monuments 
atop. As they came yet closer, the monu- 
ments turned somersaults, and fell inside the 
mounds. This was very startling, until, upon 
arrival, the place resolved itself into a prairie- 
dog- villasfe. Each little brown fellow erected 
himself on top his habitation to view the 
stage's progress ; and when it came within 
the zone of danger to himself, he inconti- 
nently dipped down into his burrow, and 
Millicent would see but the vanishing tip of 
a stumpy tail wagging derisively at her and 
all the world. There was the spirit of inde- 
pendence engendered by the plains, in these 
tiny creatures. A conceit took her that it 
was no more than the audacious impudence 
of unbirched schoolboys, and she laughed at 
the sight. 

Mr. Porter looked out on his side. " Prai- 
rie-dogs," said he. " E^er see them before, 
Miss Harding?" 


" Never," said she, quickly. " But I knew 
what they were the moment I saw them." 

"Not to have seen them shows you are 
new to the countrj^," he continued, doubtfully 

" I am, I shall have to admit," said she. 
" I don't like to, though, for I can understand 
it is little to my credit. How you people 
must pity us poor Easterners ! " 

" We like to have you get out here and see 
what freedom of life really is ; and being a 
'tenderfoot,' as the term goes, isn't so bad. 
It is like the freshman year at college — a nec- 
essary prelude to the good things to come." 

" Ah ! you know, then, — " 

" Yes ; I'm Yale — a number of years back, 
however," he added, in extenuation of his 
weatherworn appearance. 

"I beg your pardon," said INIillicent, bit- 
ing her lip in mortification at being caught 
sitting in hasty judgment; "I might have 

" I don't see how, unless you are a seeress," 
he laughed at her. " The visible varnish and 
gilding rub off pretty quickly when one does 
really begin to live." 

Mr. Porter's companion on the front seat 


leaned forward with the impressive manner 
of one with information to impart. " Talk- 
in' of prairie-dogs and tenderfeet," said he, 
"•I've seed a dog, a tenderfoot dog, chase 
them little fellers all day under the idee that 
he mouglit ketch one of them. He was a 
hunter dog from the East, and he was 
a-showin' off; ary yeller dog in Texas would 
have knowed better. Of co'se he nuvver 
ketched one, and you nuvver see so surprised 
a critter as he'd be w'en he'd sneak on a bur- 
row and jes' see the tip o' the tail going 
down. He run all day till he nachelly wore 
his footses out, and had to be tuk up and 
carried. And that's why they calls 'em ' ten- 
derfeet' now." He sat back gravely and 
spat out of the window. 

"Mr. Veck," said Mr. Porter, by way of 
necessary introduction, " and one of the best 
men on the ranch. You are going to the fort ? " 

" Yes ; I am to visit my uncle. Major Rem- 
mick," replied Millicent, still laughing at 
Veck's explanation of a common term. 

"Ah, I know the Major. A good man 
every way. Will you kindly give him my 
regards? Mr. Porter of the Cross-bar ranch." 

Millicent felt a thrill of pride at hearing 


such ready praise of her uncle, and ghidly 

Just without the town they had passed a 
military detail beside the road. There had 
been four armed soldiers on a buckboard. 
Now, looking back around a turn, Millicent 
saw that they were following the stage at a 
little distance behind its dust. And just 
then Mr. Lawrence, mounted on a white 
horse, rode up from some unseen place, and 
called out cheerily : 

" Well ! All right inside ? " 

Millicent looked out at him in some sur- 
prise. "I thought we had left you miles 
behind ! " she cried. 

" Me ? Oh no. Can't be shaken off so 
easily as that. You are being highly honored, 
Miss Harding — military escort, mounted, 
and solely on your account." 

" How nice of you ! " said she, not quite 
understanding him. In her dark civilianism 
she could not separate the grain of his remark 
from the chaff. " Why isn't there a brass 
band ? Can't I have one ? " 

" Wait till you get to the post. You shall 
have all you want, and even more, if you are 
easily satisfied." 


He turned his horse's head, and galloped 
away from the stage to a little rise of land. 
Miilicent learned from Mr. Porter, as she 
watched his course, that this was an escort 
sent to protect mails and passengers from 
highwaymen. There had been many rob- 
beries of late, and this was Colonel Bruff's 
way of putting a stop to them. The armed 
men on the buckboard were there for busi- 
ness, not for show. 

" And Mr. Lawrence ? " she asked. 

" I suj^pose he is in command of the detach- 
ment. They are in camp at the crossing of 
the Colorado. It will be no picnic for him, 
either, but plain, steady, hard riding and 
watchfulness until he is relieved." 

Miilicent looked out to see him swooping 
from summit to summit, outlined on his 
white horse against tlie pale blue sky. lie 
rode erect, and with such ease that he seemed 
like a part of the horse. Long practice had 
taught him to accomplish great distances 
with the minimum of fatigue to both horse 
and rider. There was none of the j)lay and 
affectation of many school-horsemen about 
him, and Miilicent smiled to think how in- 
congi'uous such a rider would appear in that 


setting. Yet Lawrence had been trained in 
as severe a school as any. 

" How well he rides ! " w^as her involuntary 

"He does," said Mr. Porter, readily. 
"West Point does that, if nothing more, for 
the army officers. They do know what 
horses are for, and that is important knowl- 
edge out here. jVIr. Lawrence rides quite 
like a cowboy. Here comes one now ; look 
at him." 

A speck was rising and falling across the 
plain and coming nearer. Millicent could 
not have told at that distance what it was, 
but to the practised eye of Mr. Porter the 
motion was sufficient information. A distant 
cowboy was riding to intercept the stage and 
get the mail for some ranch hidden from 
view. As he came nearer, Millicent beheld 
him with amazement. 

" Why, he hasn't the reins at all ! " she 

" No," said Mr. Porter, with smiling appre- 
ciation ; " he is guiding the pony entirely 
with his legs now. His hands are busy roll- 
ing a cigarette of loose, dry tobacco in a 
cornhusk. Now he strikes a match and gets 


a light. It is quite a feat, Miss Harding, 
when a breeze is blowing. To tell you the 
truth, I doubt if Mr. Lawrence could do it." 

The cowboy rode up, took what was given 
liim, and was away without a word to any 
one. He rose and fell rhythmically till he 
became a dark speck, and finally faded from 
sight in the midst of the living green. Milli- 
cent was an accomplished horsewoman and 
had seen exhibitions by good riders, but she 
had never beheld so finished a style of riding 
as he displayed. She turned to Mr. Porter 
with a face expressive of admiration. 

" There is a type. That is the result of 
the plains school of riding," said Mr. Porter, 
with quiet pride. 

A table-topped elevation, called by cour- 
tesy a mountain, had been menacing their 
progress for an hour, and now they drew up 
under its brow. The stage ranch was at that 
place, and they stopped for dinner. 

A family was living in the stage house, 
and Millicent was made free of their rooms. 
Presently, as she looked out, she saw Law- 
rence ride up, and after the dinner they 
walked about together while waiting for the 
afternoon's start. 


" I was thinking how inexpressibly lonely 
the life of those people must be," said she, 
indicating the house. " Here is a man, his 
wife and daughter, dropped down in this for- 
lorn spot by apparent chance. What can 
they find to do here all day long, and day 
after day ? " 

" That has always been a question with 
me, and I never liked to ask them to answer 
it," said Lawrence. " I happened to learn 
something of their history one day — for 
people in a monotone have histories as well 
as other people." 

" I know they do," assented Millicent. 
" What is theirs ? " 

" It seems they were well-to-do somewhere 
m the East. I can't locate them any more 
definitely than that. He — the old man — got 
to drinking, and everything went by the 
board. It must have been horrible for the 
wife," he said, agreeing with Millicent's ex- 
clamation of pity. " After everything was 
gone, he swore off ; and after various attempts 
to reform, and the same number of failures, 
he turned up out here with his family, and 
went to keeping stage ranch. He is pretty 
well out of the way of temptation here, and 


tliiit is what he needs. I understand he 
keeps very straight." 

" I am ghid of that, and if it ended there, 
no one should comphiin. But it is not for 
himself alone — " 

"No; there's his wife and the girl," said 
Lawrence. " I do hate to see women sacri- 
ficing themselves for the sake of one weak 
man, — and yet that is what it amounts to in 
this case ; otherwise, they would not be with 
him, I suppose. No ; I never asked them 
what they did to kill time ; somehow, I never 
wanted to." 

" I don't think I would care to, either," said 
Millicent, softly. Tlien, "Oh, these little 
glimpses of others' lives ! How pathetic they 
are ! Why is it so ? " 

" Why ? We are what other people make 
us, I reckon. We are not really responsible. 
I know my Uncle Sam is responsible for me 
as I am. But I am not altogether pathetic, 
am I ? Would you wring any hands over me ? " 

" Not you," she declared. " You are lucky 
— perhaps. But I am sorry for that girl in 

" Possibly she gets some good out of life," 
suggested Lawrence, cheerfully. 


" She has a guitar and a melodeon," said 
Millicent, as though enumerating blessings, 
"and a kerosene lamp with a green paper 

" That sheds a little brighter light on the 
subject," declared Lawrence. " Her life is not 
all pathos. You've no idea how good a little 
music is out here, or how far we can make a 
little of it go. I happened upon a ranch once 
where they had just got an organette, and I 
assure you we sat up the best part of the 
night, turning the crank and making up our 
minds which tune went best. The vote, I 
remember, was in favor of 'Flow Gently, 
Sweet Afton ' — the sound of running water 
in a desert land. At the ranch there was 
nothing but a mudhole, by courtesy a spring." 

" And people lived there ? " she cried in 

"Not only that, but liked it. It's all in 
getting used to a place, Miss Harding. I 
suspect this place seemed awfully lonesome 
and dreary to these people when they first 
came, but I'll warrant they like it well enough 
now. They form ties and associations. Now, 
if the melodeon is all they have, they get just 
as much satisfaction out of it as a town family 


would from a grand piano. It has no compe- 
tition. Don't you believe it?" he asked, see- 
ing: her thoucchtful face. 

"I — suppose so. I was thinking it would 
take years to get used to the life. And what 
will become of her, anyway ? " 

" The girl ? Believe me, her future is 
already settled, and very satisfactorily. 
The guitar explains that. It is a native 
of the section; they never brought it with 

" You mean — " 

" Lover — American or Mexican cowboy 
— white moonlight — strummed tunes — and 
a gallop to town for a wedding. Same thing 
as in the East, Miss Harding, so far as the 
theory goes ; a trifle more primitive in prac- 
tice, but producing the same result." 

His horse was brought up to him just then, 
and he laughed at his statement of the case, 
while he looked at the bridle and tested the 
cinching of the saddle. The stage clattered 
to the door with fresh horses, ready for the 
afternoon run. 

" That is very pretty," said she, as though 
half offended. " It may be better for her, but 
I am not obliged to you for spoiling all my 


long fancies about her, I was quite ready to 
make some great sacrifice for her benefit, — 
perliaps I might have consulted you about it, 
— but you make it appear that she wants no 
sacrifice, and would appreciate none ; that 
she is quite contented. Well, perhaps you 
are right. No doubt a cowboy who can ride 
and roll cigarettes, and plays the guitar, is a 
sufficient factor to make her forget others 
that are lacking. We will hope so, since that 
is the best we can hope — for her." 

" We don't need to hope it ; we may know 
it. I spoke with authority," said he. 

" As usual ! " she flashed at him, as he 
helped her up to the exalted seat beside the 
driver; for the day was fair, and she had 
elected to see this wonderful land more 
broadly than was possible from the stage 
window ; and she nodded smilingly down 
at him from her perch as the stage rolled 

" Pretty girl ! Friend o' yourn ? " inquired 
the ranch-keeper. Lawrence did not hear 
him. He was following the receding stage 
with his ej^es, and he swung himself into the 
saddle mechanically. " Come on ! " he beck- 
oned to the waiting escort. The ranchman 


coughed knowingly behind his hand. A 
young man and woman, who had witnessed 
the departure from the doorway, looked at 
each other, nodded in happy significance, and 


To a girl reared as Millicent had been, 
in a delicate Eastern environment, and now 
tasting for the first time the broader joys of 
untrammelled nature, the ride on the box 
could not fail to be joyfully exciting. The 
road wound about the bases of a few tabled 
hills, and then broke forth again upon the 
plain. She could trace its hard, white length 
shimmering ahead to a needle's point. The 
horses padded hard to the front, and they 
bowled along merrily. 

The country was a flat expanse in shaded 
browns and greens, bending gracefully away 
and upward to meet the descending hem of 
the heavens. That horizon was faint and 
mysterious ; its ethereal dimness led to doubts 
of its existence ; and the eye wondered at 
its own extended power of vision. Cattle 
browsed placidly in the distances ; and once 
a herd of pretty white-and-fawn-marked 
creatures dashed close to the stage, and 


then held away on a wide curve. There 
were shouts and exclamations from the pas- 
sengers, bemoaning the absence of guns ; for 
these were antelope, and fair game for any 
hunter. It mattered not that no use could 
be made of the game ; it was alive and wild, 
and therefore to be shot. The driver looked 
back and gesticulated wildly to the military 
escort that was trailing after, but they held 
their fire for other purposes. Birds circled 
above the plain continually, calling to one 
another. Closer to the surface, brilliant 
butterflies fluttered about, and fanned them- 
selves above their reflections in shallow, ciys- 
tal pools. Clumps of vivid color here and 
there showed the cactus in bloom. It was 
a country of vastness, yet lacking in no feat- 
ure for variety. 

Even the driver, whose face was lozenged 
by sun and wind into a resemblance to the 
leather curtains that flapped on the stage, 
loved the sight. He pointed around the 
compass with his whip, embracing the uni- 
verse in his delight. 

" This is what I UJce," said he on a venture 
to the pretty girl beside him ; for he would 
not be considered wanting in the courteous 


attention due a traveller. *' This is a land- 
scape. You c'n see and see into the edge of 
heaven an' the next county. You ain't shet 
in by mountins, nor nuthin'." He did not 
venture to look at Millicent as he spoke, but 
delivered his remarks over the backs of his 

" It is lovely ! " declared Millicent, with 
girlish enthusiasm, " and not monotonous in 
the least." 

" Well, now, there is them that like moun- 
tins, and say this is monotonous. But I 
don't see anything in hills. They bind you 
in, and fall over on ye. You can't see beyond 
them. They wall ye about unpleasant. I 
nuvver git tired of a long sight about me, 
and the wind blowing free, from clear beyond 
my sight. It's my natur, I reckon, and I 
love it." 

The ice being broken, he became communi- 
cative, and entertained Millicent with an 
account of the robbery of the stage. It had 
been on his partner's runs, not his. The 
"hold ups " had taken place in the hills they 
had passed, and there was no chance of 
trouble the rest of the way. And he reck- 
oned they wouldn't tackle the stage while 


they was soldiers along, anyway. There 
would be shooting both ways then, and that 
wasn't exactly their idea. 

Then he confided to Millicent that he had 
soldiered it before he took to driving. Lef- 
tenant Lawrence he declared to be a nervy 
man, and one of whom the road agents stood 
in awe. He had served with the Leftenant, 
and knew what he was talking about. He 
went the length of saying that the Leftenant 
had as soon fight as eat, and would sooner 
shoot than run. You wouldn't think it to 
talk with him, for he was mild and gentle as 
one of the horses it became necessary just 
then to touch up with the whip. And now, 
to see him gallopin' ahead down the road on 
that white horse of his — it was most as good 
as being a soldier agin himself! Get up, 
there ! Stage horses were lumbering things 
at the best. 

"A soldier's life must be full of excite- 
ment," said Millicent, lamely. She saw he 
was touched by the recollection ; but it was 
beyond her experience, and she did not know 
what to say. 

"Excitin' enough in a way. But it ain't 
so much that; it's the sense of being with 


your hind,^' said the driver, introspectively. 
" It's the feeling o' standin' by somebody, and 
somebody standin' by you. It's like brothers, 
only more so. Yis, if I had a brother, I'd 
rather have a soldier for a brother than any 
man I know of. 'Most any real soldier'd do." 
He whipped uj) the horses again, as though 
the memories were too tender to be indulged 
in while live issues were at stake. 

As the afternoon advanced, a subdued 
roaring began to make itself heard. Its origin 
lay at no definite point, but seemed to be all 
along the line of the horizon to their front. 
At intervals in their progress it sv/elled and 
increased until the air quivered with the 
volume of the sound. It seemed unexplain- 
able, and Millicent began to be apprehensive, 
and looked questioningly at the driver. 

" That's the Colorado," he exj)lained as he 
noticed her perturbation. " She'll have been 
getting a boom ; some cloudburst up-country, 
I reckon. She's as mean, tricky a little river 
as I ever see ; one day jes' a-crawling among 
the stones, and the next tearin' along, bank 

"Do you think the bridge will be gone ? " 
queried Millicent, anxiously. 


" No, I guess that will be all right," said 
he. Then he found it necessary to look away 
before he could proceed with his reply. " I 
say the bridge will be all right, because there 
ain't a bridge. I don't reckon there's one 
in the county ; least, I nuvver heard of one. 
We'll jes' ford it, if we can. I've known 
parties to camp for days on the edge of the 
river, waiting for the water to go down, but 
I don't really think it is that bad this time." 

When they arrived at the crossing, it was 
a yellow, troubled stream that flowed before 
them. It was not wide, but fearsome from 
its unknown depth. The ceaseless roaring 
thrilled them, and the clots of foam gave it 
a menacing appearance. The water swirled 
by angrily, laden with drift from the assailed 
up-country. Sometimes it was only logs, or 
matted debris, and again it would be the body 
of some animal, showing that the rise had 
been very sudden. Up and down, the banks 
barely confined the yellow flood, and an omi- 
nous noise as of boulders grinding together in 
the bed of the stream was given forth. To 
Millicent it looked about as bad as could be, 
and the passengers in the body of the stage 
spoke of it in tones of dismay. 


The driver j)ulled. up and looked at the 
ford with a critical eye. Lawrence had 
paused at the very brink, and his white horse 
stood with his fore legs braced, as though in 
refusal to advance. Lawrence looked over 
his shoulder at the driver, pointed ahead, and 

" Can we make it, Leftenant ? " shouted 
the driver. 

Lawrence shouted something in reply, but 
it was inaudible. The driver perceived his 
intent, however. 

" He's going to try it," said he. 

Lawrence pressed the spurs to his horse, 
but the animal refused to enter the water. 
He trembled in his antagonism to his rider's 
will. He reared and shook his head in dumb 
protest. Fear had possession of him. 

" Oh, don't ! " called Millicent, timidly. 

" He'll do it, Miss. Keep ca'm," cautioned 
the driver. And Millicent gripped the iron 
handles beside her and put a guard on her 

Lawrence spent a few moments consider- 
ately in calming his horse. He withdrew 
a few paces from the water and patted him 
gently. Then he moved forward again and 


with relentless determination drove him into 
the water, urging him with voice and spur. 
They then went forward bravely. The water 
rose mid-leg and body high and pressed 
strongly. It foamed and roared in rage. It 
would bear horse and rider under. So would 
it triumph, dashing high and rolling resist- 
lessly on. Twice the horse lost his footing, 
and twice his rider turned his head to the 
mad current, keejDing him to the only chance 
of safety. Then he struck the firm bottom 
in shallowing water and scrambled up the 
opposite bank, streaming and trembling. 
Millicent had witnessed the battle from be- 
tween her fingers across her eyes. 

" We c'n make it," announced tlie driver, 
authoritatively, gathering up the lines. " The 
stage's heavy ; only keep the bosses on the 
ford — " 

He hesitated, for Lawrence was recrossing. 
His judgment was with- the driver's; the 
crossing was practicable, but he recommended 
a degree more of caution. A line was carried 
across to aid in keeping the horses' heads up 
stream ; and then the stage rolled into and 
through the flood. It tipped, and jolted, and 
careened. The inside passengers were wet. 


and thought themselves about to be drowned 
like rats in a trap. But the passage was 
safely accomplished, and they congratulated 
themselves on their deliverance from a great 
hazard. But the deed passed without special 
comment by the chief actors. The driver 
looked back once, and nodded his satis- 
faction. Lawrence waved a good-by, and 
rode away to his camp. The stage hastened 
on to the supper station, and then, through 
the gloom of the sudden southern nightfall, 
twenty miles more, the miles shortening as 
they sped from under foot, to the post, and 
the quarters of Major Remmick. And there 
was a warm welcome for Millicent, and a fit- 
ting close to her long journey. The rail por- 
tion of it she looked upon as commonplace ; 
but the stage ride had impressed her, not 
alone by its novelty, and she gave a strong 
account of it. 

" You should have seen Mr. Lawrence ford- 
ing that river, as I did," she declared. " He 
was fearlessness itself — in blue — on that 
plunging white horse in the yellow water. 
It was foolhardy, I thought. I shut my eyes, 
for I didn't dare to look ; and I opened them 
again, for I didn't dare not to see. But he 


knew what he was about. Oh dear, how 
green I must have appeared! But you ought 
to have seen him ! " , 

" We know him well, and none of us will 
question his courage or his ability," said the 
Major, beaming. 

"No indeed! I had confidence in him. I 
felt that if he said we could get across, there 
would be no danger, and I wasn't afraid — 
not very much. But he was so picturesque! 
I am glad I saw that crossing. I should love 
to paint it." She was silent, in keen mental 
appreciation of the color effect, and the lite- 
rary value of such a picture. 

And when she went to bed presently, it 
was with a confused brain-mingling of white, 
brown, blue, and yellow schemes, till a rattle 
of drums and a shrieking of fifes aroused her 
to a new day — a day as regulated by military 


Theee was a jovial, rollicking twist to 
the fifes, and the rumbling drums had noth- 
ing threatening in them as the field music 
paraded the edges of garrison, playing the 
reveille music. It was sparkling, alluring, 
and a pretty measure for those unaccustomed 
to it. Army women have sometimes com- 
plained that it breaks in upon their slumbers, 
and army men frequently assert that it comes 
too early. But Miss Harding, with but a 
short night's rest separating her from a long 
and tedious journey, and by no stretch of the 
imagination ever to be accounted an early 
riser, slipped from her couch and peeped out 
of the window to observe what this first mili- 
tary-musical wonder might be. 

The grayness of unwilling dawn was upon 
the earth ; for reveille summons the sun, and 
he came under protest. But even as the 
music ceased, he shot a level, answering ray 
of light across the eastern prairie. It fell 


upon a group of men at the foot of the flag- 
staff, who were engaged in raising the colors, 
and it followed the red, white, and blue up 
the slim staff till it rested in glory at the top. 
Little parties of soldiers stood in line on the 
far side of a level rectangle upon which she 
looked, and returned crisp shouts as the roll 
of names was called. Tlie result of roll-call 
was transmitted swiftly with much waving of 
arms to a lone man standing at the centre of 
the rectangle ; and then the swarms of men 
dispersed, and the place was as empty as be- 
fore. Miss Harding had to admit to herself 
that reveille was but a brief business, with 
a very short-lived excitement ; and as there 
seemed to be no immediate succeeding spec- 
tacle, she had nothing for it but a return to 

As the morning wore on, the garrison took 
on a more lively air. The general guard and 
police duty proceeded without jar or hin- 
drance. Little parties of garrison prisoners, 
each with an escorting sentinel, came along 
the kitchen wall and cut a day's supply of 
stove wood for the officers. Front doors 
were thrown open, and there was a prelimi- 
nary garnishing in every house up and down 


the Line. And at uncertain intervals a 
smartly officious personage came from the 
adjutant's office and blew various blasts on 
the bugle, summoning successive sections of 
men to some military duty. The housemaids 
laughed at the unhappy prisoners. The cav- 
alry horses were herded off for the day with 
a great dust and a j)rodigious clatter of hoofs. 
A specially reliable soldier drove behind a 
mule, equally reliable, to each kitchen door, 
and received from the heads of households 
directions for the day's marketing in the little 
town. The market and the grocery were the 
only places to be visited, and the soldier 
punctiliously set down his orders in a little 
book. And then the bugler, bursting with 
his responsibilities, came forth and blew 
mess-call. This signal was generally agreed 
upon as a summons to breakfast, and all over 
the post there was a prompt gathering at 

At the bachelors' mess it was gladly an- 
nounced that the Major's niece had arrived. 
None had seen her, but it was beyond ques- 
tion that the stage had driven in and stopped 
at the Major's door. That could mean but 
one thing ; for no one else was expected, and 


people did not visit remote army posts with- 
out giving due warning of their coming. 
The bachelors made an arrangement to call 
upon her in a body that evening. 

" ' In union is strength,' " quoted Thomp- 
son, laughing. " We will make a reconnois- 
sance in force, and then, if advisable, attack 
in echelon — or any other way." Thompson 
was old and gray, and walked with a cane. 
He had been upon the verge of a captaincy 
for years, and hope deferred, the juniors 
asserted, had made his heart sour. Yet he 
was an excellent quartermaster, always ready 
to furnish rude household appliances to the 
best of the government's ability, and quite 
willing to sacrifice mules and ambulances in 
the good cause of a garrison merrymaking and 

" She's a very pretty girl," remarked Wal- 
lace, thoughtfully. 

" There ! The youngster has beaten us all 
out again," cried Thompson, in mock dismay. 
" When did you see her ? Did you sit up 
last night, or get up this morning ? You are 
an enterprising chap, anyway." 

" Haven't seen her at all," said Wallace, 
stoutly defending himself. " If you want to 


know, there's a photo of her on Mrs. Rem- 
inick's mantel, and you've seen it yourself a 
dozen times. The only trouble with you is 
that you don't know a good thing when you 
see it." 

" I'll know an application for an ambulance 
next time you put one in," returned Thomp- 
son, with a menace of refusal. Then he speed- 
ily changed to a wheedling tone. " What 
does she look like ? Come, now, Wallace, 
speaking as a man of observation, what can 
you say of her looks ? " He appeared eagerly 

Wallace thoughtfully filliped a morsel of 
bread at his dog, standing on guard, looking 
out for tid-bits. He caught and swallowed 
it at a gulp, and asked for more. " Well — 
face, oval ; features, regular ; blonde ; classic 
lips ; light hair, and plenty of it ; eyebrows 
straight — " 

" That will do ! Don't say another word, 
or I won't promise to wait for evening," inter- 
rupted Thompson, in simulation of youthful 
passion. " You seem to have studied her 
photograph to some purpose — and you can 
have that ambulance." 

" You forget Wallace has had lots of expe- 


rience," interposed Lyndon. " You and I are 
not in the same class with him. Don't you 
go running after strange gods — and god- 
desses, you young What's-his-name," he 
added to Wallace, vainly trying to remember 
the name of some fabled favorite of women. 

" No danger. I'm so enmeshed that I can't 
move. You fellows can have the field," said 
he, candidly. 

"Wallace deals in fair words, but I 
wouldn't trust him in such a case," said 
Miller. " You know even the steadiest old 
family horse will keep in the road only so 
long as he wears blinders ; take them off so 
he can see all around, and he is forever try- 
ing to get at the forbidden fruit on the 

" That's so ! " shouted the officers, in jovial 
chorus. " Keep your blinders on, Wallace. 
Look straight ahead. No more dallying by 
the wayside for you." They covered the boy 
with confusion. His cheeks burned. But 
he knew it was a part of his fate as a pro- 
spectively married man to endure such chaf- 
fing ; and he contented himself with declaring 
that they would not have so much to say if 
they did not really envy him his happy state. 


It was a day of continuous reception for 
Millicent. At short intervals light footsteps 
would be heard on the porch, and then a face 
would appear at the door with the appealing 
query, '•'•May I come in?" Before nightfall 
nearly all the ladies in garrison had thus 
informally made Millicent's acquaintance. 
Some of them made excuse of an errand to 
Mrs. Remmick ; but most of them declared 
that their sole purpose in running in was to 
see Miss Harding, and to give her immediate 
and hearty welcome to the midst of the army. 
There was a spontaneous quality to this move- 
ment of theirs and to their Avords that left no 
doubt of genuineness. They made her free 
of their hearts and their hearthstones, and 
yet with that indefinable atmosphere of ex- 
clusiveness that marked her for an approved 
guest. Not every one coming to the post 
would have been granted such a reception as 
this ; not every one would have been glad- 
dened by any general recognition. For if 
army men are jealous of their prerogatives 
and given to clannishness, army women pos- 
sess the same sentiment of their optimacy in 
a superlative degree. And one whom they 
do take by the hand and cause to feel at 
home is favored among: ten thousand. 


In the evening there was a general move- 
ment of the officers to the Major's quarters, 
and many of the hidies wlio had been in dur- 
ing the day came again, convoying their hus- 
bands. Mrs. Bruff had been one of the 
earliest callers, and this may have had some 
influence upon the actions of the others ; for 
it is beyond question that the wife of the 
commanding officer can do no wrong ; and 
the attitude taken by her on any matter is 
bound to be copied to a considerable extent 
by the junior ladies. She came again in the 
evening, though without her husband — a fact 
that she deplored as she explained that it was 
almost impossil)le to get him away from his 
newspaper if the stage happened to be in, and 
that he was devoted to solitaire. But slie 
stood as his accredited representative, to say 
nothing of her own quality ; so no shadow 
was cast on the informal pleasure of the 

Mrs. Remmick was highly gratified with 
the response made by tlie garrison, and the 
Major's broad face beamed from red to pur- 
ple upon every one. It was quite understood 
that this was not an occasion of actual intro- 
duction under official auspices ; there would 


be a social function later on the accepted 
plan of such events, to which all the garrison 
and such other nobility as might be found, 
would be bidden. Meanwhile, as a prelude, 
the evening was a remarkable success. 

Millicent herself moved about in a state of 
brilliant excitement. Her eyes shone, and 
her pleasing color, instead of doubtfully 
wavering, was fixed in her cheeks. It was 
a novel experience to find herself in a room- 
ful from which civilian attire was excluded. 
Every man was clad more or less bravely 
in blue and yellow and white. It was not 
strange that they should gather about her ; 
she was accustomed to the talk of men from 
her artistic Bohemia through her successive 
liglits of social life. It was the fact that 
their attire outshone that of the women ; that 
they were not embarrassed by it ; tliat tliey 
were, without exception, of fine bearing ; 
that their eyes had a fearless habit of looking 
straight at the point of observation ; that all 
were to-night making a little army Bohemia 
for her — it was this that gave piquancy to 
her entertainment. She was young and 
pretty, with a fixed habit of enjoying her 
life as she found it whatever; but her 


new surroundinofs o^ave it an added zest that 

In the movements of the guests she found 
herself cut off and hemmed in by a laughing 
group of young officers. They were telling 
wonderful stories of the country, a terra in- 
cognita to her, and expecting her to believe 
them. It began when she told them some 
incidents of the stage ride, and of the high 
water of the Colorado. She gave a lively 
account, in which Lawrence was not men- 

" Tliat was a narrow escape," said Miller, 
gravely, as she finished. "I suppose, from 
the fact of your reaching dry land in safet}^ 
that you were not attacked by water-ani- 
mals ? " 

"• I didn't see any, I'm sure," said Millicent, 
beginning to believe that dangers had been 
concealed from her. " What are they like ? " 

" I have never seen one, and can give you 
no good description. The name of the worst 
kind is 'Gila monster.' He is something to 
steer clear of, if half they say is true." 

Millicent delighted the group by shudder- 
ing at his statement. 

"And did you see no taran^jdas on the 


way ? " he inquired. He disguised the word 
by placing the accent on the penultimate, 
and chuckled at her mystified expression. 

"Taran tulas?" she queried. "Oh, I 
suppose you mean robbers? Of course we 
did not, when we had soldiers with us." 

" No, not human robbers, but beasts of the 
plain," he explained, kindly. "They lie in 
wait by the roadside, spring upon the horses, 
kill them with a bite, and then lunch off 
them. They thus put passengers to great 
inconvenience, but they never are known to 
attack them." 

"Really? Oh, don't think me so credu- 
lous," she laughed, in pretty doubt. " Do you 
really have such horrid creatures? I know 
they say such things about Texas — " 

" You are not to believe ' such things ' un- 
less they come on excellent authority — as 
substantial as Mr. Miller here," said Wal- 
lace. " The only animals that soldiers fear 
in these parts are the soldier rabbits. You 
may have seen some at a distance ? No ? 
They are powerful and fleet. They make 
nothing of taking a full-grown man over 
their shoulders and galloping away with him 
to their lair. They prefer soldiers, — some- 


thing attractive about the uniform, — and 
hence the name." 

Milhcent sat in silent amazement as Wal- 
lace sjDun this story with a straight face. 

" That particular kind of animal I was 
speaking of, Miss Harding, the taran tula, is 
almost extinct here now. But we have a 
smaller kind, — the species seems to have 
degenerated into a sort of spider, — and you 
can see their holes in the parade ground by 
thousands. The garrison boys amuse them- 
selves by catching them and putting them 
under a glass, in company with a couple of 
red ants, to fight. That is the only form in 
Avhich duelling survives with us, and that is 
one-sided. The ants win every time," said 
Miller, regretfully. 

" I shan't dare to step on the parade ground, 
for fear of them," Millicent declared. " And 
I don't think much of your manner of amuse- 
ments. You are cruel." 

" Ah, but you should see the boys go hunt- 
ing for them," continued Miller, with calm 
conviction. " It is as pretty a sight as you 
could ask for. You will let me take j^ou out 
some day to witness it? There is no blood- 
shed, no firing of guns. They take a string 


with a bit of wax at tlie end, and dangle it up 
and down in the reptile's hole till he gets 
mad and bites into it. Then his fangs stick 
in the wax, he is harmless, and he is drawn 
out wrisffflino- to do battle with the ants." 

Millicent looked to AVallace for confirma- 
tion of this wonderful tale. He nodded his 
head at her solemnly. 

" I don't believe your story ! " said she, 
suddenly. " How do you get them away 
from the wax without being bitten? Ah, I 
have you there I " 

Wallace looked at Miller, puzzled, but 
that gentleman was equal to the occasion. 

" We pry the fangs apart," said he, " with 
a bayonet, or a broom-stick, or anything 
handy — " 

" What's all the fan about ? " deinanded the 
Major and Lyndon, attracted by the laughter 
that greeted Miller's explanation. ''What's 
the matter. Miss Harding?" said Lyndon. 
" I see. These bo3^s have been treating you 
to Texas stories. They keep a stock on hand 
ready for all comers. Don't put any faith in 
them or their stories either. As the phrase 
goes, they are giving you a ' fill.' " 

" Oh, I know it ! " laughed the girl. "Fm 


sure of it. They have no mercy on a — a — 
tenderfoot? Yes, tenderfoot. Uncle, I shall 
appeal to you for protection."' 

" And you sliall liave it ! " The old war- 
rior fell into an attitude fit for personified 
heroism. "Beware!" he breathed at the 
young fellows. " Be on your guard ! I am 
not here for trifling." 

Everybody laughed, some out of kindly 
consideration for the Major's humorous fail- 
ing. And Millicent implored : 

" Oh, uncle, if you would onli/ let me paint 
you like that ! It would make my reputation 
forever ! " 

" Yes, and spoil mine," said he, subsiding. 

After that there came a lull in the chatter, 
and nearly all the guests took advantage of it 
to say good-night. 

"Well!" said Millicent when the last one 
was gone. " I am surprised at two things." 

" What are they, my dear ? " asked the 
Major, prepared to hear something nice about 
the army. 

"Nobody talked weather, and only one 
asked me what I thought of the army. 
What self-restraint that was ! " 

" I suppose so," said the Major, doubtfully, 


hardly knowing whether or not to consider 
the army complimented. " But what do you 
think of us — the officers, I mean ? the women 
are another question." 

" Yes — I should hope so," she laughed 
saucily. " I like them in a way — the offi- 
cers. There's nothing slow about them." 

"My dear," suggested Mrs. Ilemmick, to 
whom the popular fieedom of phrases was 
distasteful, "is that a good manner of ex- 
pression ? " 

"Why, it is expressive, isn't it?" asked 
Millicent, innocently. " And they are not 
slow. I looked at them, and somehow 
thought of poor Dicky Swope." And here 
she laughed again. 

"And who is this Mr. Swope?" her aunt 
inquired with a touch of primness. 

" He was in Paris when we were there," 
she went on. " We were four girls together, 
you know, and we had our little salon, and 
we did things in some sfi/le, I tell you ! Then 
it came Christmas time, and we fixed up the 
place with greens, and put some mistletoe on 
the chandelier — " 

" Why, Millicent, do you think that was a 
very nice thing to have — you four girls 


alone ? " asked ]\Irs. Remmick, really alarmed 
for the proprieties. 

" Never mind, dear aunt ; that is just what 
we did have," replied Millicent, with ani- 
mated decision. "We put it there, — you 
could only just see it if you knew it was 
there, — and Dicky Swope used to come in. 
He was a good boy, and would do anything 
in the world for us ; his father was a Metho- 
dist minister in Kansas somewhere. But he 
was so sloiu ! He would throw himself into 
a chair as though tired to death; and one of 
the girls would stand under the cliandelier — " 

"Which one?" demanded the Major, 

" Not this one, uncle, really ; and only for 
Dicky at that. She would stand there and 
fold her hands, and look up at it as though 
she was just languishing ! And we would all 
be on the point of screaming to see her so 
audacious ! And poor Dicky would sit there 
— well, he didn't know a good thing when 
he saw it. You should have been there ! " 

" I think so," said Mrs. Remmick, incisively. 

" But you wouldn't think of playing such 
tricks on these boys here, eh ? " said the 
Major, in some pride. 


" Um — they may be a little isolated, but 
they know a thing or two, I fear. No, it 
wouldn't be safe with them." 

" There's lots of mistletoe grows round 
here, if you care to risk it," he pursued. 

" Oh, bring it in," said she, falling into his 
vein and determined to appear even more 
radical than he. " Bring in a bushel ! Hang 
it over the door ! Put out a sign, ' Kisses 
within ; price re'duced for large lots.' Have 
a clearance sale ! " 

" Admirable ! " declared the Major. 

" Horrible ! " exclaimed Mrs. Remmick, 
scandalized b}^ the thought. 

" Oh, 3^ou dear aunt," cried Millicent, run- 
ning to her. " They would all be for uncle 
and you — for you anyway — and for uncle if 
he let me paint him ! " 

"So that's the penalty, is it?" said the 

" Which ? " asked Millicent, loftily. 

"The prize, the reward, I mean," said he, 
correcting himself. " Please excuse me." 

" Yes, that is it," said she. 

" I will consider it," said he, saluting her. 
« Good night." 


The warmly hospitable greeting extended 
to Millicent by all in the garrison acted as 
a spur upon Mrs. Remmick in the matter of 
the state function. She had intended to do 
something handsome, but now she gave her- 
self almost entirely to planning for the event. 
It was due in a measure to the garrison, as 
an acknowledgment of their cordiality; it 
was plainly due Millicent, as being her niece, 
and a person of considerable social distinc- 
tion ; it was due herself, as hostess, that the 
affair should be creditable to her ; and it was 
a matter of primary acknowledgment that it 
was due the whole army in general, and the 
Old Regiment in particular, that no effort 
should be spared to add to the entertainment's 
brilliancy. Time, labor, and expense were 
for consideration only as they contributed to 
this result. For Millicent was then for the 
first time to see the army on its best behavior ; 
and there were a certain few civilians in the 


little town and on neighboring ranches who 
had been accustomed to the wearing of di'ess 
coats in the East, and who were always to 
be impressed with the lavishness and mag- 
nificence of army entertainments. Moreover, 
Mrs. Reramick had a warm heart for her 
niece, rejoiced in her pleasure, and delighted 
to contribute to it ; and this may easily have 
been quite as important a factor in the matter 
as any other. 

Women who love to do for others are 
always lovable in themselves. This is not 
necessarily or probably a quality of form, 
fashion, or manner, but of the soul ; and the 
possessor of that soul, in its highest develop- 
ment, must be well known to be appreciated. 
It is a quality of unusual frequency among 
army women, and yet the casual acquaintance 
would be very shrewd to suspect it. For, in 
their everyday life, they are so hedged about 
by narrow limitations that little opportunity 
for the open exercise of this element occurs. 
Conditions are unfavorable ; there is frequent 
isolation in dismal camps and remote garri- 
sons, where the preferences of life must make 
way for the homely necessities of living. 
But this refinement of the soul, in women, 


doth feed and strengthen upon itself, so that 
the sudden demands for sacrifice that accom- 
pany the army life are never unsatisfied. 
They have their unrequited share in the 
labor and perils of the army. Reliance upon 
them is seldom in vain. Not unfrequently 
have they sounded the keynote for tests of 
the heroic capabilities of the men. They 
have the one or two sublime flights of con- 
stancy and courage that may come in a life- 
time ; but beyond, and on all sides of these, 
stretches the daily round of existence in 
waste places where nature is sullen ; the kill- 
ing monotony of unheard-of camps ; difficulty 
after ditliculty subdued and not spoken of. 
The army woman has true heroism in small 
affairs, and it is here that she does mostly 
shine by her own unconscious virtue ; and 
here, perhaps, she reaches altitudes of self- 
sacrifice undreamed of, save by the few initi- 
ated companions of her exile. 

The husbands and fathers of these women 
understand them in so far as with man's baser 
intelligence they may, and they show a lively 
appreciation — generally. Like other men, 
they have loud faults ; and one is that, with 
innate masculine stupidity, they occasionally 


fall sliort in the measure of regard and duti- 
ful respect. They have been known to lay 
at the doors of their women's tongues, gossip 
and scandal-causing circumstances that might 
have found abiding-places nearer home. But 
the mainspring of their bearing is a true 
chivalrous defence against all outsiders. 
They may say things about army women, but 
civilians had better beware of meddling ! 
And when it comes to personal courtesy and 
attention in numberless ways, the army men 
are unsurpassable. Taken through, one may 
say they do their best according to their 
light ; and if some stumble in darkness, the 
fault is less general than individual. And it 
is consoling to reflect that Christian civiliza- 
tion has several lengthy strides yet to take 
before the ideal plane shall be reached. The 
code of these ofhcers entitles them to a place 
in the front rank of progress. 

Wallace had a section of the code served 
to hira a day or two after the announcement 
of the coming event had been made. No in- 
vitations were issued in garrison, it being a 
garrison affair at which all felt bound to 
appear. Some were sent outside. Willard, 
the adjutant, strolled into Wallace's quarters 


after morning drill, when he would be sure 
of finding him in, and commenced chatting 
of the aifair. 

" I suppose of course you will escort some 
one ? " he said at a stroke. 

Now, that was a question Wallace had been 
asking himself. Being measuiably unversed 
in the ways of life, and so believing himself 
of as large importance in the world as he was 
in the eyes of a single laughing girl some- 
where back East, he aspired to all the honors 
he could carry. And more. He had a strong 
wish to escort some one, the some one to be 
Miss Harding. He was smitten with her in a 
harmless way, she being a generous girl and 
privately posted as to his matrimonial expec- 
tations, and he desired to show her every 
possible favor. Thus it was that he had 
jumped at the thought of being her escort. 
But he did not jump at an opportunity 
to gain her consent. Some instinct moved 
within him to tell him that it would be an 
unwise measure ; that he did not have rank 
enough to entitle him to precedence on this 
occasion. And so he dilly-dallied, and Wil- 
lard's question found him still open for an 
engagement, and pining thereat. 


"I don't know," returned Wallace, in as- 
sumed carelessness. " I hadn't thought of it 
— particularly. I suppose all the married 
ladies will be tliere with their husbands?" 
he inquired, cautiously. 

" Ye-es, I suppose so," said Willard, assent- 
ing to the hazard. 

There was a pause, while both men fumbled 
for words. Willard, however, felt sure of his 
case, and was only waiting for Wallace to 
develop it for him. 

" Miss Harding will go with the Major and 
Mrs. Remmick ? " was Wallace's next sugges- 
tion, made as though all other possibilities 
were exhausted. 

" Ye-es ; that is, in a way. I believe Cap- 
tain Lyndon expects to escort her in person, 

" Ah, I didn't know that ! " exclaimed Wal- 
lace, unguardedly. 

" Oh, that's fixed up. The army never 
allows its guests to suffer, Wallace. We give 
them the best we've got." 

"Well, that's right." Wallace concealed 
but a fraction of his disappointment, but Wil- 
lard was determinedly unobservant of it. 

" Certainly. The army has a pretty high 


standard in these things, but I see you are 
getting the hang of it all right. Some men 
don't get over their civilian notions for a long 
time. I like to see a youngster show some 
sense and discretion in these matters," and he 
looked flatteringly vipon Wallace. 

" That's all right — thanks, Willard." He 
reddened a little, which was to his credit. 
" Of course, it's a gentleman's business to 
have, as you say, a high standard. Well — I 
suppose in the case of families all will go 
together ? " 

If they had, that would have settled the 
business, and Willard would have had no 
occasion to make this call. 

" Why should they ? " said he, in mild sur- 
prise. " You wouldn't expect Miss Harding 
to go with the Major and his wife, and no 
special escort, would you ? No. We must 
treat all alike. The army is too democratic 
to allow of any appearance of favoritism." 

Wallace maintained a silence that was 
oppressive to Willard, for he had a distinct 
duty for him to perform. 

" I tell you, Wallace," he continued, " in 
the army it's different from civil life. We 
are all oh a social level from the nth lieuten- 


ant up, or from the ranking colonel clown. 
It is a mere matter of promotion, and socially 
one man is as good as another. Same way 
with our women. We treat them all alike, 
for army women never grow old. That's 
where they differ from their civil sisters. 
We are glad to pay them equal attention at 
all times, and when you consider all they go 
through for us, it is no more than they 

"That's so!" declared Wallace, with a de- 
gree of warmth that was of comfort to Wil- 
lard, for the trump card had been played. 
" Well, let's see, then, looking at it as a mat- 
ter of duty — oh, of pleasant duty — well, of 
pleasure, then, and leave duty out," said he, 
for Willard did not appear to agree with his 
manner of looking at it. " To begin near the 
top, — for rank and age go together, — there's 
Miss Burns, now. Wonder if anybody is 
going to take her ? " 

" Nobody is going to leave her," said Wil- 
lard, more quietly, for Wallace had at last 
taken the trail he designated. " I don't know 
if any one has spoken to her about it. Haven't 
heard the fellows mention it." 

"That's not to be wondered at," com- 
mented Wallace. 


"It is a case in point," said Willard, ignor- 
ing his reraai'k. " She is a little past the 
blush, to be sure, and she never was pretty, 
exactly. You can't expect such a personal 
blessing as that in this God-forsaken climate. 
But there isn't a better girl in the whole 
United States army, and what is more, she 
belongs to the regiment. Born in it, lived in 
it; if she don't marry out of it, hope she may 
die in it. And a fellow, especially a young 
fellow like you, Wallace, w^ith your expecta- 
tions of bringing out a wife yourself some 
day, needn't be afraid of ingratiating himself 
with the regimental ladies." 

" There's no harm in asking her, anyway," 
remarked Wallace, tentatively. " As you say, 
she's old, and she's homely ; and she can't 
talk a little bit. Does she dance, do you 
happen to know ? " 

Willard fenced cautiously. He did not 
mean to lose the game when it was so nearly 
secured. " No, I don't knov/ ; that is to say, 
I never danced with her myself. I was never 
stationed with her before, and we don't get 
a dance out here very often, anyway." 

" Anybody would be excusable for getting 
rusty on dancing," said Wallace, half bitterly. 


" I'll try it, anyway," he added. " Loyalty to 
the regimental ladies a good thing? Well, 
you'll find me there every time ! I'm glad 
you mentioned her, too, Willard. It don't 
make a particle of difference whom I take, 
and I hadn't thought of her myself." 

" Oh, that's all right. I didn't mean to 
make any suggestion — merely inquiring 
casually," said Willard, mendaciously. " But 
it's a good point to remember: army women 
never grow old. Well, must go now. Good 

" So long." 

Willard hastened home and told his wife 
her plan had worked admirably. Later, 
when they saw Wallace go up the Line to 
Captain Burns's quarters, they felt that they 
had reaped a full recompense. For Miss 
Burns had intimated in Mrs. Willard's hear- 
ing that she should not attend. Plainly, this 
was because no escort offered. Now Miss 
Burns would attend, matters would go 
smoothly, and there would be no hackling 
of any one's feelings. Mrs. Willard had 
acted so delicately in the matter that Miss 
Burns could never suspect her of complicity 
in a plot to provide escorts ; and the result 


was entirely along the desirable line of regi- 
mental harmony. 

With the easy adaptability of army life, 
the chapel was made into a dancing pavilion 
for the night. It was the one building at the 
post that admitted of general use. Ordinarily 
it was a school-house. On exceptional Sab- 
baths religious services were held in it, and 
it took its name from this rarer quality. A 
squad of soldiers made short work of the 
benches, and the limited floor space, notori- 
ously rough, was made ready for the dancing. 
No wax was required ; brooms and scrubbing- 
brushes did its business quickly. 

Requisition was made upon Thompson, 
the quartermaster, for a great mass of flags 
and bunting; and this was draped about 
the ragged walls according to the enlisted 
man's idea of the artistic. At any rate, it 
was so disposed as to cover the broken plas- 
tering, which was a point gained. And then 
one of the companies contributed a stand of 
arms, from which the punch-kettle was to be 
suspended; and Captain Eagan's cavalry 
troop surrendered their sabres, which were 
ingeniously fitted together in the form of 
stars, and secured against the background 


of bunting. The schoolmaster's platform 
was reserved for the orchestra, improvised 
from the regimental band, and a tent pitched 
outside and near a window answered admi- 
rably for a refreshment room. Thus the 
scene was prepared for an evening of dancing 
and light, and it was viewed with satisfaction 
as representing passably well the army notion. 
There was some talk of drawing in the reveille 
gun to stand on the platform, muzzle on, to 
the party ; thus each arm of the service would 
have been represented in the decorations. 
But it was feared the gun might have a 
depressing effect, as a moral engine, and so 
mar the perfection of the evening, and the 
idea was abandoned. The detail of enlisted 
men who did the work of garlanding were 
well satisfied with the result. With more 
resources, they would have made a better 
showing; but their labors had been conscien- 
tiously performed, and the effect was decid- 
edly army ; and that, after all, was what they 
had striven for. 

The night itself was still and white as 
Texan summer nights are. The silences of 
the prairie were accentuated by the occasional 
distant yelping of some brute outcast. There 


was a conscious rhythm flowing through, 
which might have been the soft breeze in the 
tree-tops along tlie creek bottom, or the pretty 
wimpling of the water. Tlie moon rode down 
the expanse of heaven, clothed in white 
gi-andeur, and barring the earth's surface 
with blackest shadows; the spaces between 
were brilliant in her pale, strong shining. 
But she met with rivalry at the post chapel, 
all glowing with oil lamps in every window. 
A resonance of music filtered from it, and 
when the door was opened, couples were seen 
to go whirling gaily by. Cups clinked in 
the tent; sliced lemon perfumed the imme- 
diate air; soldiers on temporary refreshment 
duty came and went awkwardly with trays. 
Within and without there was a commingling 
of voices, a touching of hands, an interblend- 
ing of conditions. The dance was on, and 
the army was enjoying itself in unstinted 

Large assemblies were uncommon ; a dance 
was a rarity ; so the room was crowded as it 
never was for schooling or chapeling. Every 
one in the garrison entitled to be present 
took glad advantage of this right and came. 
Those discriminatingly bidden from without 


were present, their black coats suspicious 
of packing-box wrinkles. And all around, 
fringing the circle of light and pressing to 
the windows, were laundresses from the mar- 
ried men's quarters, and enlisted men them- 
selves, and many a dark face of negro or 
Mexican. For plainspeople do not greatly 
affect ceremonious social musters ; and curi- 
osity drew them irresistibly towards this 
approximation to remember scenes that these 
transplanted people were disporting them- 
selves in. 

Time ran like water in a brook with the 
gay party. The musicians, fortified to their 
unaccustomed task with deep draughts, 
threw themselves with vigor into the work, 
and executed, literally, succeeding waltz, 
polka, and gallop. The couples danced to 
this music when practicable, and when not, 
promenaded. Some danced but rustily at 
the best, and were content with a little ; yet 
there was not a woman who had not or mioht 
not have done bravely at footing it delicately 
in some past day. The officers, too, betraj^ed 
an unaccustomed touch. The older ones 
moved with grand, military precision; the 
younger, Avith a phantom of West Point days 


in their mind's eye, swung witli more certain 
vigor. Each one claimed Millicent for a 
dance, and when the older ones upon inquiry 
found themselves anticipated by the young- 
sters, they were politely surprised ; duly 
depressed ; concluded it was probably better 
so for Miss Harding ; for themselves, they 
had not danced since — ; danced better in 
the spirit than the flesh, anyway ; and so 
saying, resigned themselves, and strove to 
escape the vigilant wifely eye on the passage 
to the refreshment tent. Thus, between the 
young and the old, Millicent did not suffer 
from lack of due attention, and had a vastly 
good time. 

The heavy instruments of the orchestra 
thundered and rumbled unavailingly against 
the screaming violins ; couples waltzed and 
walked ; mothers of families were danced 
once about the room by their husbands, then 
gave it up and sat agaiost the wall in a state 
of perpetual conversation with all comers. 
Each smiled and nodded to each. And in 
the warm midst of the unchecked play, a 
young officer, fresh to the fight and clad in 
resplendent uniform, strode in. The men 
nearest him shouted, and made a dash for his 


hand ; the women screamed at him joyfully ; 
others turned to look, then joined in ; the 
music was being wasted, for all were giving 
hearty greeting. 

" Lawrence ! This is great luck ! How 
did you ever do it ! " 

"Bagged no robbers yet? Better luck 
next time ! " 

And the Major, his purple face shining 
through a gathered mist of perspiration, 
struCToied to him to do the honors. 

" And Lawrence forty miles away ! " he 
cried, witli famous adaptation. " We just 
needed you, Lawrence. Hadn't the slightest 
idea you could get here, though. Well, well, 
I'm glad enough. Come right along up to 
the head of the procession." 

So Lawrence laughingly fought off his 
comrades and went up the room to where 
Mrs. Remmick and Millicent stood. He was 
tanned warmly, as blonde men do tan, from 
his exposed camp on the stage line. 

" That is Mr. Lawrence coming," Mrs. 
Remmick whispered to Millicent. 

Mr. Lawrence ! She had not recognized him 
in the change from scouting rig to full uniform. 
Surprised, she felt her color rising, and was 


angry with herself for it. But she did not 
quite understand why every one was making 
such a fuss over him. Then he came up, and 
bent over her aunt's hand, and turned to her. 

" This is the great transformation scene," 
she laughed. " 1 am not at all sure you are 
the desperado-looking man who rode all round 
the stage that day." 

The very same, he assured her, and none 

"And how are your familiars, the rob- 
bers?" she inquired. 

" They are very tantalizing. I have not 
once caught sight of them in all my riding." 

" How sad ! You must have been quite 
homesick for the sight of a friendly face." 
And then she regretted having said that. 

"I was — I was. And so I rode forty 
miles to get here, see the face of that friend, 
and claim a dance with the owner of it. Am 
I too late?" And he made a movement to 
take her card. 

" You progress in your acquaintance as 
you ride — very rapidly," said she, in some 
protest. He might have thought she was 
complimenting his horsemanship, but for her 
qualification. "And I fear you are too late. 


The dancing is nearly over, and Captain 
Lyndon has the two that are left. Is he 
generous ? " she inquired, tentatively, with a 
suggestion in her eyes. 

" He would be generous to a fault, if there 
was one. He will divide with me to the last. 
Captain — " He turned to where Lyndon had 
stood near, but he was gone. Colonel Bruff 
had come up to him, and, touching him on 
the shoulder, had said peculiarly : 

" One of your men, I believe. Captain ? " 
The Captain had been dreaming, with his 
eyes on Millicent's face, and Mrs. Remmick 
looking at him approvingly. He awoke with 
a start, and followed the direction of the 
Colonel's glance. Nearly every one had 
worn away from the door, and come near 
Lawrence ; and an enlisted man, very much 
the worse for the refreshment tent, had strad- 
dled in, and was weaving tipsily towards 
them. Tliis was Burton. There was a sud- 
den hush in all the room, upon which his 
drunken tones were loud, as he waved his 
arms fleeringly, and repeated : — 

"'Come, fill the cup, and in the fire of spring 
Your winter garment of repentance fling ! ' 

Ole man's got good liquor on to-night ! " 


Lyndon bowed to the Colonel, and started 
towards the man. But as quick as he was, 
some one else was quicker. Miller advanced 
upon Burton, and hissed at him : 

" Clear out ! You drunken dog ! " 

"That's bad language 'tween gent — gent'- 
men, y' know," retorted the staggering man. 
" I got's good right here's you have. Take 
that, y' drunken dog ! " 

And upon that he spun around with out- 
stretched arm, and slapped Miller in the 

Lyndon's hand was upon Burton's collar in 
a moment, and he stayed the angry attempt 
of Miller to avenge the red mark on his 
cheek. " There is another way," he said. 
Then : " Burton, march before me to the 
door. March ! " 

Burton looked at him in vinous stupidity. 

"Oh, Cap'n, is it? Cert'n'y, Cap'n, do 
anything you say." And he went waveringly 
out at the door, Lyndon at his heels. 

There was a pause for a moment, when 
each looked questioningly at another. Milli- 
cent's face was as red as Miller's own, where 
the man's hand had fallen upon it. Colonel 
B:uff made a sisrnificant motion to the musi- 


cians, and they struck into the last waltz. 
The guests moved once more, animated by 
the music and by the closing hour. Law- 
rence turned to Millicent, whose side he had 
not left. 

" Come, Miss Harding," he pleaded. " Cap- 
tain Lyndon will hardly be back in time to 
dance. Give me this one." 

They took a few turns, and she stopped. 
" I cannot dance," said she, and he led her to 
a seat. "Such a sight affects me so — the 
brutishness of it. I am so sorry such a thing 
should occur. It is terrible ! " 

" It was unpleasant," he admitted. " But 
drinking is a common fault with the men. 
The worst of it is that it should be so 

" Oh no," said she, earnestly. " The worst 
of it is that the ungoverned fault should be 

Lawrence looked at her curiously. He 
had grown so habituated to drunkenness 
among the enlisted men on the slightest 
pretext or on no pretext at all, and to free 
drinking everj^where, that this untainted view 
struck him as a novelty. He did not know 
what to say, but he had to make some reply. 


" I don't know but you are right," said he. 
And the more he thought about it, the more 
he became convinced that she was. 

The waltz came to an end, and people pre- 
l^ared to go away. Still, Lyndon did not 
return. The Major turned almost anxiously 
to Millicent, and spoke in extenuation. 

" Captain Lyndon is probably detained 
about confining his man," said he. " Always 
is some kink in the matter. If he doesn't 
get back — " His eye sought Lawrence 

" If I may escort Miss Llarding, I shall be 
glad," said Lawrence, quickly. 

Lyndon did not return, and Lawrence 
walked with her the short distance from tlie 
chapel to the Major's quarters. 

" This was really your due," said she. 
"After that long ride, and not getting a 
dance, after all. The wind shall be tempered 
to you a little." 

"Shall I regard you as a special Provi- 
dence ? " he asked. " I should like to, for I 
am still unsatisfied. This is one of those 
times when a fellow can't get enough. He 
can only be duly grateful for such favors as 
may be shown him." 


"Aren't you repaid for your ride yet?" 
asked Millicent, as she extended her hand in 

"•Quite," said he, bending low over it. 
" That is cancelled. But I want to open an 

" That is quite impossible," said she. " The 
terms are cash." She laughed as she said it, 
remembering the proposition about the mistle- 
toe. But Lawrence could not know that. 


The inruption of the drunken soldier 
gave an unpleasant color to subsequent dis- 
cussion of the dance. Even when it was not 
mentioned, it was felt as an unhappy occur- 
rence and a direct commentarj^ on the futility 
of the army's social system. Overlooking the 
fact of Burton's intoxication, which might 
have made his tongue unruly, it was a piece 
of unparalleled audacity for him to declare 
his right to be present. This was the senti- 
ment of the garrison, commissioned and en- 
listed, for strong old custom declared against 
the doctrine thus advanced. Of course, he 
must have been drunk, or he would have said 
nothing so outrageous. The fact that he had 
been ordered out to assist in the tent gave him 
no right, fancied or real, to intrude upon the 
floor. It was against all the canons of the 
army and all good discipline for him to do so. 
This was what the officers said ; and when 
Millicent, feeling argumentative and looking 



at the moral side of it, asked " why " he had 
no right to be there, Mrs. Remmick shivered 
at the bare suggestion. 

" My dear," said she, " it would never do." 

As a reason that was on a parity with 
"because," and was equally unanswerable. 
So she turned to Captain Lyndon, who had 
smiled queerly at her first question. 

" Had he not as much right there as an- 
other man, circumstances not considered ? " 
she asked. 

" I would hardly carry it that far," said he. 
" But let me ask you a question. Would you 
have been willing to dance with him ? " 

" As he was, certainly not." 

" But if he had been sober ? " 

" Yes. I believe I would." 

" Millicent ! " exclaimed her aunt. " A 
common soldier ! " 

" That would not have made a particle of 
difference, dear aunt," returned Millicent, 

Mrs. Remmick looked upon her in despair. 
" Of course that is only because you are so 
unaccustomed to the army," she said, in ex- 
tenuation. " When a man enlists he abandons 
all claims he may ever have had to a gentle- 


man's estate. I am surprised you do not see 

"I see it plainly, aunt," said Millicent. 
" The only point is, that I don't agree with 
you. It does not seem to me that enlisting 
would change his nature. To be sure, I 
don't know anything about this man — Bur- 
ton, is it ? — whether he was a gentleman or 
a — a — burglar. If he was a burglar, you 
would still expect him to be a burglar at 
heart, wouldn't you ? " 

" He wasn't a gentleman, that's sure, " said 
Mrs. Reinmick, evasively. " Just think how 
drunk he was ! " 

" As to that," said Millicent, with rising 
color, " I do not think he was the only one 
who drank too much. There were several 
gentlemen who found the floor too uneven for 

Mrs. Remmick disposed the fabric she was 
working on in her lap with a shake that 
meant severe displeasure. She thought Mil- 
licent was making herself very unpleasant 
before Captain Lyndon. There were things 
about tlie army that might be observed, but 
never spoken of. She closed her lips tightly, 
resolved to give Millicent no further oppor- 


tunity for such utterances. And then Lyn- 
don came to the rescue. Although she knew 
him to be given to "queer" fancies, she was 
surprised that he shoukl fall in with the 
spirit of Millicent's words in any degree. 
He seemed to approve her sentiment, although 
he did not wholly commit himself. 

" After all, it is very little different from 
your civil society," said he. " Your butler 
and your coachman are not on intimate terms 
with your guests. It may sometimes happen 
that a son of good family drives your cab, or 
that a gentleman enlists. But these cases 
are the exceptions, and only prove the rule. 
The fact of a man being in the ranks is good 
and acceptable evidence that he is not en- 
titled to the honors of your table. And here, 
we are stringent on a double account ; and 
the other side of it is discipline. The army 
exists by discipline ; and where would that 
be if privates and colonels were on terms 
of good fellowship? I admire your theory, 
Miss Harding, and am committed to it 
myself up to a certain point. But with 
us it would work out to an absurdity And 
after all, I believe it was only in theory that 
you would dance with the man." He laughed 


"Don't be too sure — and don't press the 
point," said she, pleading with her eyes. She 
knew that he had rightly judged her devotion 
to the theory of social equality. It went no 
further than his own. And then they wan- 
dered into a desultory conversation upon 
painting, in which Millicent led, and Lyndon 
followed bravely at his best pace. And Mrs. 
Remmick, seeing peace firmly established, 
left them to their discussion. 

Among the officers, Ljaidon was generally 
held morally responsible for the Burton inci- 
dent. Not that he furnished the liquor, or 
had any part in it, but because his method of 
dealing with his company was misunderstood. 
Lawrence was the only man to combat this 
sentiment. He declared vigorously that the 
company had improved in every way vmder 
Lyndon's management ; and as they heard his 
words, and noted his manner, Lawrence soon 
ceased to be pestered with remarks deroga- 
tory to his captain ; and he would have had 
to go afield to carry on the fight. But the 
feeling did not languish on that account. 
Tlie officers told themselves and each other 
that it was outrageous misfortune to have 
such a thing occur before civilian guests. 


The Colonel, though keeping his own coun- 
sel, was believed to be favorable to the 
popular sentiment, for he was a thorough- 
going martinet, and some had noticed the 
manner in which he called Lyndon's atten- 
tion to Burton at the dance. Lyndon was 
condemned on all sides. 

He had been struggling with a hard task 
for months — ever since he attained his cap- 
taincy. The former captain of the company 
had been incapacitated for duty, and away 
on sick leave a long time before being re- 
tired ; and in his absence the company had 
been unfortunately knocked about from com- 
mander to commander. Its regular lieuten- 
ants were on detached duty, and there was 
no one to take a permanent interest in its 
welfare. At intervals of a few weeks, differ- 
ent lieutenants would be assigned to its com- 
mand, and to do them justice, each one tried 
conscientiously to make something out of it. 
But as each one had various little peculiari- 
ties of his own, and went at the business of 
discipline with varying degrees of perspicacity 
and determination, little progress was made. 
The company fell into disrepute ; it had the 
largest percentage of any in the guard-house ; 


its drill was the raggedest; its target record 
at the tail of the regiment ; every graceless 
scamp transferred from the iron-clad compa- 
nies to this, where some latitude offered ; and 
three-quarters of the soldier-deviltry kicked 
up in garrison was laid with good suspicion 
at the door of this company. It had been 
suggested that the company be disbanded, 
and reformed by drafts from the other com- 
panies ; but as the captains severally pro- 
tested against losing their best men and get- 
ting bad men in exchange, this was never 
done. And so the company was sadly in 
need of a strong hand when Lyndon was 
promoted to it, and came to the post to 
assume the command. 

Lyndon had a reputation with the enlisted 
men of being an easy, indulgent commander. 
During his years in the regiment he had 
seemed loath to punish, and inclined to rely 
more upon the men themselves than the other 
officers were. This the men took to be a siern 
of weakness, and an acknowledgment of ina- 
bility to cope with serious situations. Tliis 
was a short-sighted theory, inasmuch as Lyn- 
don had never been permitted to exercise an 
independent command for any length of time. 


The company found an unlioly joy in antici- 
pating his arrival. When some one remarked 
that he had never had any trouble with his 
men, the reply came that so long as he let 
the men do as they pleased, there could be 
no trouble. The men believed that the new 
captain would interpose no serious bar to the 
exercise of their will and pleasure. 

It had been their will and pleasure to get 
very drunk on each monthly pay-day. Other 
companies would get drunk sometimes and 
sometimes not, but this company never missed 
a date. They could be depended upon, and 
the guard-house cleared of lumber for their 
reception. But what did they care for that? 
A small fine, or a few days of confinement — 
there was nothing unpleasant in it. So, on 
the first pay-day when Lyndon called the 
roll, they proceeded with the usual process 
of juicing down and getting all the drunken- 
ness they could out of their pay ; and, being 
adepts at the business, this was considerable. 
That night two men developed delirium 
tremens, this being a climax, and were 
strapped in the hospital. The others were 
not disturbed, and they had a royal time 
among themselves. They were surprised at 
the limitless leniency of the new captain. 


So through the night, limited only by the 
efforts of a few reliable non-commissioned 
officers acting under Lyndon's orders. The 
next morning they were sad-eyed and weary. 
They were indisposed to effort, and devel- 
oped a variety of alcoholic ills. They made 
a lagging procession to tlie hospital when 
sick-call sounded, and in feeble voices re- 
counted to the surgeon their incapacities for 
work. They did not ask to be taken into the 
hospital for treatment, but only to be excused 
from duty for the day. The surgeon heard 
them through, and wrote in the sick-book his 
disposition of each case. To their dismay he 
wrote the one word; "Duty." 

The hour for drill came, and the sun was 
piping hot. Captain Lyndon strode across 
the parade, girt with sword, for the duty. 
Two or three of the more shaky ones saluted 
him, and asked a personal favor : Would 
the Captain kindly excuse them from the 
drill ? They were sick. 

" Why didn't you go to the hospital ? " he 

" We did, sir." 

" Didn't the surgeon excuse 3^ou ? " 

" No, sir. He marked us ' duty.' " 


"Then 'duty' it is, Isoys. I can't go 
ao-ainst the doctor's orders." 

The assembly sounded, and the company 
formed. Lyndon drew his sword, and com- 
menced the hour's drill. To the unhappy 
men it was an era of torment. Never had 
a drill-master been so exacting; never had 
they been so disinclined to drill. Up and 
down the parade he marched them, the sun 
baking their backs and blinding their sodden 
eyes. They marched in line and in column, 
company front and by platoons ; they wheeled 
and turned; they deployed as skirmishers, 
and assembled on the far flank at a run. A 
hundred times they mentally cursed the mer- 
ciless captain ; a thousand times they cursed 
their own folly in drinking to excess. They 
stumbled and staggered like blind men, 
heavy-headed, shaky-kneed, with paiched 
tongues and roasting eyeballs. The other 
companies, after a time of drill, rested for a 
space in the shade ; not so with them. Cap- 
tain Lyndon was out for drill, and he drove 
them up and down the rectangle for one hour 
without stopping. Then in gentle tones he 
said their drill was far from satisfactory, and 
that they should turn out for another hour 


of it in the afternoon. He dismissed them, 
and they fell on their bunks, exhausted. 
They were very sober. At the end of the 
aftei'noon drill, beneath a yet better sun, 
they were repentant. And that was the be- 
ginning of a great change in Lyndon's com- 

As the company rallied from its disrepu 
table condition, the men found that the Cap- 
tain was so far from being weak and easy 
that he was one of the sternest disciplinarians 
in the post; and yet the outer appearance 
of the case did not indicate this. The 
men could do what they pleased so long 
as they pleased to follow regulations and 
obey orders ; when they chose some other 
line, trouble ensued with startling celerity. 
Thunderbolts out of a clear sky were noth- 
ing to it. But it was quite a company affair. 
The whole garrison was seldom advised of 
it by public imprisonment and trial. Under 
such conditions the status of the company 
improved ; the men found an interest, both 
individually and as an organization, in their 
duties, and took a new pride in the com- 
pany's reputation ; so that it became excel- 
lent in drill, and noted at the targets. The 


men found what it was to possess the respect 
of the Captain — something before unthought 
of. The company kitchen improved, and the 
barrack took on an air of comfort. There was 
a uniform supply of white stoneware, clean, 
for the table ; and sheets and pillow-cases 
were conspicuous on the bunks at Sunday 
morning inspection of quarters, when all 
the officers went through, comparing notes. 
These things were in advance of the expe- 
rience of other companies, and Lyndon's got 
the name of being almost Sybaritic in the 
luxury of its appointments. Affairs went 
very well. The men had learned that Lyn- 
don had a heavy hand. They were glad, and 
respected it. But it was not always in sight, 
and they were known to brag of their cap- 
tain's " way," as differing from the ways of 
other captains. 

That was delightful to look upon, and 
Lyndon deserved credit for the picture. But 
it was not always Sunday morning inspection 
in the quarters. There were off days for the 
whole company, when they breathed a black 
wind against all the world ; and there were 
certain men in it who demanded extra con- 
sideration in handlinor. Burton was amongf 


these. He was one of the most intelligent 
men in the company, and had been a leading 
spirit in soldier-wickedness. But after that 
first disastrous j^ay-day, he had recognized 
Lyndon's authority, and had held up his 
head satisfactorily. He did not appear to be 
anything out of the common run, nor did 
he make any professions of reform ; they 
would not have sounded well in his mouth. 
But he had been instrumental in the com- 
pany's improvement solely by force of ex- 
ample. Lyndon knew this, and was willing 
to acknowledge it as he might. He could 
not go to Burton and thank him ; but he 
found he wrote a good hand, and so had 
him excused from drill, and appointed to an 
additional clerkship in the adjutant's ofiQce. 
Burton knew why that was done quite as 
well as Lyndon, and showed his worth by 
continuing in soldierly attention to duty. 
He developed an erect, military carriage, and 
appeared to such good advantage in line at 
parade that Lyndon determined to make him 
a corporal when the first vacancy should 
occur. That would be several months ahead, 
and so he intimated one day to Burton what 
he might expect. He saw at once that he 
had struck the right key. 


It was but a short time after this when 
Colonel Bruff arrived, and the court martial 
of Burton followed. It did not affect Lyn- 
don's faith in Burton, but it was a blow to 
Burton's pride, and so shook his own faith in 
himself. He thought it unjust, too, and that 
made it worse yet. But he continued out- 
wardly, at least, in the way Lyndon liked. 

Then came the dance. In the hurry and 
heat of preparation, it fell to Willard to 
select some men to help in the evening. He 
intended to take those whose day duty was 
lightest, and his thought fell upon Burton, 
for one. He did nothing except parade, and 
could well afford to turn to. So he sum- 
moned the sergeant major, and through him 
commanded Burton to the task. 

The sergeant major thought there was no 
occasion for Burton to flash so angrily red 
when the order was given him. Others 
received it with no show of emotion. But 
as he at once turned pale again, and answered 
" all right " in his ordinary tone, nothing more 
was thought of it. He went to the tent, 
ladled out punch, filled glasses and uncorked 
bottles till his head was filled with the scent. 
Then he commenced drinking himself, in- 


vaded the hall, made a fool of himself, and 
slapped an officer's face. There was the 
unpardonable offence. 

Miller received a great deal of sympathy 
from the officers. They were one with him 
in sentiment. The proper thing would have 
been to knock the fellow down, drunk or 
sober; a man sober enough to strike was 
sober enough to be struck. But of course 
Lyndon came between, and — well, Lyndon 
was a good fellow ; but what was to become 
of discipline if an immediate example could 
not be made when the occasion so clearly 
demanded it? Yes, regulations forbade any- 
thing of the kind ; but cases were known and 
cited in which men had been strung up, or 
bucked and gagged, to the great benefit of 
the service ; and nothing had ever been said 
about it. If Lyndon had only been a moment 
later — or if he hadn't had command of the 
company at all. Ah ! That would have been 

"It plainly came from that doctrine of his 
that an enlisted man is as good as anybody 
else. So he may be, but not as an'^' enlisted 
man ; not in my company," declared one 


"Not though he does quote Khayyam at 
you in his cups," said another. 

" And did you hear what he said about 
having a right to be there? That's what 
comes of a company feeding on china plates 
and sleeping between sheets ! We'll have 
'em coming in courting our daughters next ! " 

So the popular feeling fed upon itself. 
Lawrence said nothing to his chief of these 
matters, and very surely no one criticised 
Lyndon to his face. But it was in the air, 
and he could not walk the length of the Line 
without feeling a cold wind blowincy from 
each house : " We don't agree with you." 
It would be untrue to say he did not care. 
He did care a great deal. While no seeker 
after popularity, he liked being on good terms 
with all. It gives the strongest man a feel- 
ing of lonesomeness to be shut away from 
the world with a little parcel of his fellow- 
creatures, each of whom in his mind criticises 
him unpleasantly. The isolation is inten- 
sified; the heart-strings are strained to the 
point of endurance ; he has no thought in 
commoii with his fellows; he has nothing to 
talk to them about; he is esti-anged from 
them ; he must fall back upon himself ; and 


it is only a man of fertile resources who can 
dwell with himself and not weary of his 
society, day after day through the long years 
of his service. It was not so serious as that 
with Lyndon. But he felt sometimes as 
though it might come to that. 


The morning after the dance Lyndon went 
into Colonel Bruff's office to ask about the 
charges against Burton. In his heart he had 
entertained a hope that the Colonel might 
prefer them himself, but the Colonel had no 
idea of doinof such a thino-. 

"In regard to Burton's case," said Lyndon, 
"of course the charges will include drunk- 
enness and striking an officer. The wit- 
nesses — " 

" There need be no lack of witnesses for 
the prosecution, sir," interrupted the Colonel. 
" You may put me down for one. As for the 
defence, I don't think there will be a crowd." 

" No, sir ; he can only introduce some testi- 
mony as to character." 

" Character, indeed ! Well, that won't go 
a great way." 

"I suppose not, sir; but I shall be glad to 
say a word for him." 

The Colonel drummed a moment on the 


table before answering. Tlie drum had been 
of assistance to him all through life, and he 
had a habit of imitatinsf it when in thougfht. 
Then, " You will cumulate against him, Cap- 
tain," said he, and ended the interview. 

Any hopes that Lyndon may have enter- 
tained of saving Burton were sufficiently 
shattered by this. It meant that an abstract 
should be made from the records of all the 
offences Burton had been guilty of. His 
court martials, the sentences imposed, and 
even small matters of company correction 
would be laid before the court sitting on his 
case. It would be sufficiently damning to 
counteract anything that could be offered in 
the way of testimony of good character. It 
left Burton without a leg to stand on. The 
fact of cumulation would show the unenviable 
estimation in which he was held by the com- 
manding officer, and would render the pro- 
ceedings of the court martial all the more 
easy when they should come to casting about 
for a sentence. The charges upon which he 
was to be tried were sufficient to warrant his 
dismissal from the service ; the cumulation 
would only serve to determine how long a 
term should be allotted him in the military 


penitentiary. In this manner was justice 
dealt out lavishly in double handfuls. Pre- 
vious punishment did not count ; previous ill' 
doincr did. This should be the end of Burton. 
Colonel Bruff was actuated by no personal 
motives in his direction of the case ; it was 
of a piece with his usual course of procedure. 
But that was small comfort to a man who had 
looked forward to honor in the service, and 
was now about to suffer the deepest dishonor 
that could be cast upon him. 

Captain Lyndon without delay drew up the 
charges and specifications against Burton in 
the customary circumlocutory form, and sub- 
mitted them through regular military chan- 
nels to the Colonel. That ofhcer, having 
examined and approved them, caused an en- 
dorsement to be placed on the fold to the 
effect that he had investigated the case, found 
it to be as stated within, and recommended 
that a o-eneral court martial be convened for 
the trial of the offender. This was despatched 
to department headquarters with the satisfy- 
insr assurance that the recommendation would 
be favorably acted upon ; and the garrison 
forthwith sat down to await the orders for 
the general court, and while so waiting for- 
got the case entirely. 


There are many duties to perform in a 
garrison that lias the honor of being regi- 
mental headquarters. That the officers for- 
got Burton's case, or temporarily put it out 
of mind, did not argue that they cared noth- 
ing for it. It did not weigh heavily on even 
Lyndon, and he had nothing but the best 
good of every man in his company at heart. 
It was a situation in which nothing could be 
gained by brooding or by desperate prepa- 
ration, and so he dismissed the matter as 
completely as he might. The other officers, 
almost to a man, hoped to see Burton dis- 
missed; at least they said he ought to be. 
Lyndon would have saved the man, but knew 
he could do nothing. But he had his whole 
company to look after, from its kitchen to its 
drill, and as he was thoroughly conscientious 
about it, he had little time in which to specu- 
late about a single private lying in the guard- 
house. It was brought to his mind every 
mornincr when he went over the mornino' 
report; but so long as Burton was carried on 
this return as a prisoner of the guard, every- 
thing was quite regular. 

The scheduled duties of the garrison were 
attended to ; reveille succeeded by stable call. 


fatigue and mess call, by guard-mounting in 
its turn, by the drill of the day and the sun- 
down parade, through to tattoo and taps. 
And after the wheel had gone round a suffi- 
cient number of times, the charges against 
Burton were returned from department head- 
quarters, marked " Approved," over the sig- 
nature of a brigadier general. By which it 
was understood that the brigadier had exam- 
ined them, by proxy. And in the same mail 
came the order detailing officers for duty as 
members of a general court martial to con- 
sider all cases referred to it, beginning with 
that of Private Burton. Department head- 
quarters had done its turn ; it was now the 
opportunity of the court. 

Promptly the court was assembled, and 
Burton brought before it. The affair was 
oppressively methodical. There was but one 
lawful w^ay for a court martial to take the 
heart out of a man, and that way was so well 
known and so often repeated that interest in 
the proceeding had flown. Members of that 
court may remember the stuff}^ room in Avhich 
they sat; the heat that lay heavy upon the 
land; the somnolence that prevailed with 
some, the restlessness of others. There was 


a squeaking beliincl the rotten woodwork 
that betrayed the day hiding-place of bats ; 
and some junior members of the court amused 
themselves b}"" thrusting their swords througli 
cracks, thereby temporarily increasing the 
squeaking, and occasionally drawing forth on 
a sword-tip the quivering, reddened, loath- 
some body of a bat. Burton, standing before 
the court, read the apathy and indifference, 
and knew it for a bad omen. When the 
juniors were at their sword-play, he felt the 
blades in his heart, lie knew they would 
sacrifice him as readily as the vermin which 
they found more interesting. 

The court routine ran smoothly on. The 
oaths were administered, the charges read, 
the pleading taken, — guilty. The prosecu- 
tion i-ested gladl}'. Had the prisoner any 
defence to offer? the judge advocate asked 
of him perfunctorily. None, he said, unless 
the Captain would say a word for his char- 
acter. The judge advocate turned inquir- 
ingly to Lyndon, who nodded, arose, and was 
sworn as a witness. 

" I can say that the prisoner is well known 
to me,." he began, when the formal questions 
were ended. "lie is a man out of my com- 


pany. I am well aware that the mass of 
papers before this court show that at periods 
of his service he has borne a bad character. 
That was before I knew him, and I am not 
competent to speak on it. Since I have had 
command of the company, however, I can 
say no man has done better than he. He 
has been respectful and obedient. He has 
shown good soldierly qualities." He hes- 
itated, and the judge advocate looked up 
from his note-taking to see if he had finished. 

"For six months," he continued, "he had 
not been under the influence of liquor. I 
do not believe he had touched a drop in that 
time. He was makinsr a strono' effort to do 
well, and was looking forward to some prefer- 
ment up to the time of this event. And I 
cannot hold him altogether responsible for 
the act that brought him before this court." 

" That last is hardly relevant," said the 
judge advocate. " It has no bearing on the 
case, as testimony. And if you Avish to make 
a plea for the prisoner, that should follow my 
own statement to the court for the prosecu- 

"Proceed," said Lyndon. "I will follow 


" I don't care to make any statement ; the 
prisoner has pleaded guilty. I will content 
myself with a reply." 

"Then I will continue," said Lyndon, 
quietly. " I will say that I consider the 
prisoner a victim of circumstances. His 
status as a soldier is well defined. It should 
be remembered that at the time of the occur- 
rence he was not engaged upon any military 
duty. At that time he was employed in 
menial labor, — menial. He was ordered to 
that labor in defiance of the sections of army 
regulations that forbid such employment of 
soldiers. He was ordered there without my 
knowledofe. Had I known of it, I should 
assuredly have ordered him away, and that 
would have been eminently proper. He was 
sent there without a shadow of good authority, 
and in defiance of law. Had he refused to 
go, he would have done no more than shoidd 
be allowed him. Had he made complaint, an 
investigation should have followed, and some 
one should have been brought to a sudden 
sense of the fact that the enlisted man has 
rights, and that he is protected in these rights 
by law. He is no servant ; he is no under- 
ling. He is charged with responsibility, and 


equally with ourselves he has the military 
honor of the country to uphold." 

The members of the court had by this time 
cast off their sleepiness and were all atten- 
tion. The boy lieutenants with new swords 
had ceased jabbing bats, and were listening 
closely to this unusual exposition. They 
thought at first that Lyndon was intention- 
ally scoring Willard for giving an unauthor- 
ized order to Burton, and visions of a duel 
came in their minds. It had not before been 
their privilege to hear the private soldier 
championed against all comers. They were 
apprehensive of a jolly row, and the older 
men were scowling. 

" The private soldier," Lyndon continued, 
" claims but little at our hands. First, there 
is the consideration due from one human 
being towards another. This should not be 
his to claim, but ours to freely extend. He 
is one with us in occupation and in aims. 
We are dependent each upon the other, and 
all upon him, for success in our professional 
undertakings. We do not take him into our 
councils ; that is not to be expected. We 
have but to require of him to do so and so, 
and the measure of his fidelity is the measure 


of our success. At our best we do nothing 
for the private soldier. We too often look 
upon him as even less than a piece of mech- 
anism to be taken care of. But he, by his 
diligence, his bravery, his honor, his readiness 
to share with us the scars and give to us the 
advantage, — he makes us what we are. 

" No, he claims little, and that little often 
by a mute demand. There is but the one thing 
— justice.- Because we are hardly to be held 
amenable to law and lig»ve almost complete 
control over him, is the last reason why we 
should be pitiless in our dealings with him ; 
it is the first reason why we should put a 
watch upon ourselves, and mete to him the 
justice due. The enlisted man is not a 
saint ; he is a fighter, genei'ally brutish, often 
knavish, frequently drunk. We take him, 
knowing him for what he is, and we must 
not impose impossible restrictions upon him. 
There are certain regulations provided for 
his government, whose administration we are 
charged with. As he tries to live up to them, 
we should give him credit for the conscious 
effort. That is but justice in its most primi- 
tive conception. And if he fail, still there is 
much in his favor by having striven, and that 


should temper our judgment in his behalf. 
For are we not all continually striving toward 
some ideal of our own, and as constantly fail- 
ing in our endeavor? But we do not count 
ourselves as failures for that. We take credit 
to ourselves for the effort, and condone our 
own shortcomings. Let us then, as we have 
mercy on ourselves, have it also for others." 

The membei-s of the court appreciated the 
rarity of such w^ords from a brother officer, 
one whom they respected for his courage and 
soldierliness. They would have slept under 
the same sentiments from the chaplain, but 
this was a novelty, and they were broad 
awake. The president of the court showed 
in his face grave doubt of the propriety of 
allowing Lyndon to proceed, and yet he took 
no measure to stop him. The expressions 
used were revolutionary in their character, 
but he counted on Lyndon's being in a help- 
less minority. Major Remmick was leaning 
forward, his face between his hands, intent on 
the utterance. Some looked impressed, some 
skeptical, but all listened. Burton sat behind 
Lyndon like a statue. It was something new 
in all his experience. He had heard the so- 
called " guard-house lawyers " clumsily ad- 


vance similar views, but it had not occurred 
to him that they would be shared by an 
officer. The heat was intense ; the sun stared 
in at the windows, a blinding glare ; the men 
turned their backs upon him, and listened to 

" There is little more to say " — he spoke in 
a quiet, even voice. " Here is a man who has 
climbed by his own efforts high up the en- 
listed man's scale. He was animated by the 
best motives. He had that very good thing, 
an exalted ambition. Upon the full head of 
his endeavors comes a buffet. He is imposed 
upon — thoughtlessly, unintentionally, maybe, 
but still imposed upon. He dares make no 
outcry. He mistrusts his own power of re- 
dress ; he fears the power of reprisals. He 
does what is required of him, and meets his 
old enemy, drink, of whom he had been 
steering clear. Fate was against him, and 
the weak moment came when he could not 
clearly see the end for which he had striven. 
It is a sad thing, but in this he has proved 
his right to our just consideration. For God 
knows it is in our weak moments that we 
all lose all we have striven for and gained 
throuch months of stroncf endeavor. This is 


to be thought of. Your justice will be meted 
out with a firm hand; but shall not your 
mercy also?" 

He sat down, and the judge advocate rose 
to reply. The president looked at him ex- 
pectantly and nodded. Major Remmick got 
up ponderously, tiptoed to Lyndon, and whis- 
pered in his ear. At the same time he was 
seen to shake his hand, as though in congrat- 

" I fear that I cannot make so eloquent an 
appeal as the counsel for the prisoner has 
done," the judge advocate commenced. " I 
feel that I am unprepared and quite unable 
to cope with him. My emotions have been 
touched deeply by his words, and yet I fear 
that if we lived by our emotions, our duty to 
ourselves and to the world would suffer. I 
have been told that professional hangmen 
detest their work and suffer from the liveliest 
sympathy for the criminals intrusted to them 
for execution ; and yet people are hanged 
every day, and the hangmen grow fat and 
raise families. 

" But I do not think the question is there. 
We have a simple case in our hands. There 
is no conflicting testimony, and it is difficult 


to perceive any misunderstanding about it. 
In the first instance, this man is charged with 
being drunk in garrison. There is nothing 
said about his duty at tlie time, so the assump- 
tion may be tliat he was not upon duty at all. 
And that is a charitable construction. Had 
he been drunk on duty, that had been so 
serious a matter as to warrant being explicitly 
set forth in the charges and specifications. 
No. He is ' drunk in garrison.' It is not 
even known officially where he got his liquor. 

" The second charge is striking an officer. 
That admits of but one construction — the 
delivery of a blow. There are the two 
offences charged against this man, and you 
can make nothing more or less of them. To 
both he has pleaded guilty, and that may be 
taken as the guide of the court in proceeding 
to a finding. The cumulative evidence does 
not affect the trial of this case. It can be of 
importance only after a finding has been 
reached, and then only in case of a finding 
adverse to the prisoner. I am now ready to 
proceed with the essentials." 

" The court is closed," announced the presi- 
dent, and Lyndon withdrew. The sentinel 
at the door received the person of Burton as 


though it was a bale of goods, and marched 
it back to the guard-house. 

The result of the trial could not be publicly 
known until the proceedings had been written 
up, transmitted to the Colonel, re-transmitted 
to department headquarters, acted upon there, 
and a verdict of approval or of disapproval 
by the brigadier general returned. All that 
would take time, and meanwhile Burton sank 
again from sight and mind, save as he might 
be observed cutting wood and drawing water, 
always with an armed sentinel at his heels. 
For a day or two Lyndon's speech was quite 
generally remarked upon, and then that, too, 
was dropped from mind. There were daily 
affairs of more importance. 


Mrs. Remmick was one of the most amia- 
ble women in the garrison. Army life had 
been good to her in many ways, thereby cater- 
ing to her amiability. Thus it had given 
her a husband who adored her and whom she 
constantly adored. He had faulty percep- 
tions on many subjects ; but when Mrs. Rem- 
mick thought on the list of men she had 
known in the army, and on the percentage 
that had dropped in un mentioned ways from 
the Annual Register and from all human 
knowledge, she could forgive him for being 
no better than he was. When she married 
the Major — then a lieutenant — she had 
made up her mind to take the army as it 
came, for better or worse, and to make the 
most she conld of it. So she had put up 
with all sorts of household inconveniences 
and domestic makeshifts cheerfully. She 
had, perhaps, narrowed a trifle, and held yet 
more jealously to her social prerogatives ; 


that was but natural. That would explain 
why she was vexed at Millicent's remark 
about the dancing private and the tipsy offi- 
cers ; and yet it was true that such a remark 
would have fallen upon horrified ears in a 
much wider social circle than that of the 
army. However, her displeasure was but 
short-lived; and Millicent, too, had the ex- 
cellent sense to withdraw the sting of her 

Neither Mrs. Remmick nor Millicent lost 
sight of the fact that, however pleasant and 
relaxing the visit might be, there was a meas- 
ure of work to be performed. Millicent 
meant to accomplish something in that new 
atmosphere and with the brilliant material at 
hand that should electrify her fellow-artists 
in New York upon her return. It was essen- 
tially an unknown field to them, and had never 
been touched upon by painters imbued, as 
Millicent was, Avith the dashing principles of 
the modern French school. The American 
soldier as he was had never been put in a 
picture. He appeared sometimes as a pecul- 
iarly jointed animal in stiff attitudes that dis- 
played the uniform to advantage, but never 
as a man. Here, in the isolation of a far 


army post, Millicent saw him at home. He 
was stripped of feathers and devoid of frills ; 
but there was a certain fascinating quality of 
rough-and-readiness in his carriage, his alert- 
ness, that was the very quality of all others 
she wanted. This was her opportunity. She 
prepared to grasp it, and Mrs. Remmick 
encouraofed her in the undertakinoc. 

She dove deep into her trunks, got out all 
the traps she had brought in the way of 
artist's material, and made her room thick 
with them. By degrees the}^ fell into a 
pretty disorder, at once noticeable and grace- 
ful, that caught Mrs. Remmick's fancy. She 
was continually taking the garrison ladies up 
to view the " studio," till it became a sanctum 
where they might gather for an undisturbed 
chat. Millicent would in the meantime touch 
up some half-finished sketch, and allow them 
to admire it. Several local bits done by her 
were thumb-tacked on the walls, and yet 
others she presented to members of the morn- 
ing group. Thus her reputation as an artist 
w^as magnified, and her popularity increased. 
The photog?'apher who conducted a canvas- 
walled gallery in town heard of her, and 
came to the post to meet in her person a con- 


genial artistic soul. He had it in liis mind 
to propose collaboration on some landscape 
work, but during the one call he ever made 
he did not see his Avay clear to stating it. 
The ladies of the garrison sang her praises 
unceasingly. They harbored no jealousy, and 
professed only admiration for her art, her 
abilit}', and her charming personality. So 
that Millicent's experience in army life bade 
fair to be happ3^ 

In spite of the INIajor's vehement protests, 
or in consequence of them, she made several 
sketches of him, — she was rapid with the 
pencil, — and flashed them upon him in 
revenge of his attempts at teasing. Some- 
times she descended to caricatures, but these, 
after the moment's laugh, were conscientiously 
destroyed; otherwise the garrison might have 
come to regard her with doubt. She made 
an excellent sketch of the Colonel riding 
meal-sack on his fat plug at battalion drill ; 
that she put away for future use. Through 
the kind services of Ljaidon she made a very 
complete collection of the details of soldier 
dress, and for a time her room was warlike 
with revolvers, long rifle-cartridges, saddle- 
cloths, prairie-belts, hat ornaments, and blanket- 


bags, — all things that had the smack of the 
real, venturesome service about them. She 
made studies of these to familiarize herself 
with them, and went about her work in a 
systematic way that spoke well for her train- 
ing. She took a keen delight in lier exjilora- 
tions in this hitherto unknown field. 

There were out-of-door sketches to be made 
also ; for the southwestern light is a peculiar 
thing, and sun and shade possess qualities to 
vex the heart of any painter until they are 
mastered ; then they give much joy. All 
over the surrounding prairie she tramped, 
generally with Lyndon for an escort, work- 
ing now by the target butts, now in the 
pecan woods by the creek, or on the far side, 
getting the perspective value of miles of 
wire fence. Mesquite, cottonwood, cactus, 
all presented points for stud}^ and she was 
indefatigable in her devotion to the work 
she had chosen. 

On one rare day she came upon a congress 
of brilliant butterflies gathered on a single 
tree, in such numbers as to weigh down the 
leaves ; all around other butterflies fluttered, 
seeking places on which to alight, as tremu- 
lous as detached leaves that a capricious 


breeze will not allow to reach the ground. 
That was too much to paint ; she could only 
admire, and demand of Lyndon if he had 
ever seen anything like it ? No ; he never 
had. Nor had she ; she could sketch any 
day, but this was the chance of a lifetime. 
If Captain Lyndon was willing to put that 
camp-stool in the shade, they would stop 
there and look at it for liours. Captain Lyn- 
don was very happy to arrange the camp- 
stool and the shawl, and the sketching-um- 
brella, so that Miss Harding might be most 
comfortable ; and they sat down together 
before the tree like a determined enemy 
besieging a city. 

It was a matter of smiling comment in the 
post that Lyndon was so constantly IVIilli- 
cent's escort on these short sketching-trips. 
He had previously been so deeply engaged in 
military affairs, had been such a student of 
campaigns even, that it was wdth difficulty he 
could be lured awa}^ from his books for a single 
evening. Now, nothing was of sufficient 
importance to keep him from escort duty. 
He discovered suddenly that Lawrence, now 
returned to the company, could attend to 
ordinary routine quite as well as he. So, 


except when the regulations or Colonel 
Bruff required his presence, he was quite 
likely to delegate his authority to Lawrence, 
and to go beyond the bounds. He had not 
previously thought highly of the surrounding 
country ; but he was quick to perceive new 
beauties in it when it was required of him to 
indicate them to a young lady of artistic 

Young Wallace watched the course of 
affairs with an almost fatherly solicitude, and 
wrote long accounts to the Eastern girl 
whose name he still refused to divulge to the 
ladies, but which they all knew ; for Savage 
collected the mail, as well as delivered it. 
Miller looked on and grinned that it was all 
very pretty for those who cared for it, but 
for himself, he was not a marrying chap. 
Lawrence bit his lip at it, and said nothing. 
He went about the company duties, and car- 
ried out Ljnidon's wishes to the letter. Only 
once, when some one happened to remember 
his ride on the day of the dance and spoke of 
it, he replied with a few words that silenced 
the man of memory. Lyndon had a clear 
field, and not a few of the officers were look- 
ing forward to buckets of champagne at an 
early date. 


Millicent and Lyndon sat in the shade, and 
looked at butterflies. "A peaceful occupa- 
tion," said Lyndon. 

Millicent had been in a reverie, and started. 
" Yes ? " said she. " Is it tiresome ? Such a 
weary tone as you have — " 

" Not at all. I could stay here — with you 
— till the next war breaks out." 

" What unbounded patience ! Or do you 
look for a war soon ? " 

" I never look for it. I have given up all 
hope of it, and quite abandoned myself to 
garrison routine." 

"I have noticed that you go round and 
round in a small circle of duties, with no 
chance of getting out if it," she replied. 
*' What do you do to break the monotony of 
it? For I suppose it does get monotonous 
sometimes ? " 

"Yes, after a while it does. When one 
has been putting in a quarter of a century 
engineering two sets of fours through com- 
pany drill, it begins to be what might be 
called monotonous." There was a sarcastic 
quality to his tongue. "What do we do? 
Oh, various things. There is always great 
temptation to do forbidden things — things 
that result in courts martial and dismissals." 


Somehow the thoughts of both ran back 
just then to Burton. 

" Yes," she sighed. Then she roused her- 
self for a statement. " 1 have wanted some 
such opportunity as this," she said, " to tell 
you — for it is your due — that some one ap- 
preciates what you did for that poor man." 

Lyndon looked at her with hopeful eyes. 

" I am glad to hear you say that," said he, 
with emphasis on the pronoun. " I spoke as 
I believed, not with any hope of benefiting 
Burton. The court martial is such a cast- 
iron affair ; its judgment is run in such a 
narrow mould. It is limited in general to a 
strict interpretation of the letter of the law, 
and there is no leniency in that. I don't 
doubt that Burton will get the full penalty; 
but I am glad I spoke." 

" And so am I," said she, sincerely. 

" That is why I am glad," said Lyndon. 

"No, don't say that, or I shall not be 
glad," she replied with a look that kept him 
where he was. She was sorry now that she 
had introduced the subject. " You are glad 
for the same reason that I am ; because you 
did the man good, and because it is of no 
harm, even to the most bigoted, to hear the 


truth spoken once in a while. I haven't a 
doubt but the court was prejudiced — the 
older members, I mean — without knowing it. 
They would judge the prisoner by the law, 
and not by their own sense of justice. Is it 
not so ? " 

" Yes," said Lyndon ; " or, rather, by what 
their sense of justice would have been, had 
they allowed themselves independence of 
thought in the past years. They are bound 
down to the Book of Regulations, and it is a 
heavy weight." 

They were silent a little, and suddenly 
Millicent laughed. 

" To think of their surprise ! It must have 
been like having a bombshell exploded among 
them. Tell me, did you feel like a bomb- 
thrower — an Anarchist ? " 

" I don't think I know the sensation," he 
replied truthfuU}', in his ignorance. " I be- 
lieve they more than half agreed with me. 
But it will make no difference with the 

He arose, wondering why he had allowed 
himself to be diverted from the line of com- 
pliment, and more, that he had started on. 
There was something he wanted to say to 


her that might tlius have been led up to, and 
it was something he could not, dared not, 
say abruptly. He dared not trust himself 
with the utterance, and yet he felt that his 
glow of passion was patent to all the observ- 
ing world ; as indeed it was. He cast about 
within him for some way of again leading up 
to the phase of conversation he longed for, 
yet dreaded. 

" Do me a favor one moment," exclaimed 
Millicent, suddenly. " Stand just as you are — 
the shortest time." She made a dive for the 
sketch pad lying beside her, and Lyndon 
unwaveringly maintained his attitude. 

" I wonder if I look as I feel ? " he asked 
at length, half-laughingly. 

" Oh, precisely," she "declared hurriedly, as 
she drew in the long lines of his figure. 
Thus the enigma resolved itself for him. 

"Then if you know how that is — " he 
began, with his heart in his throat, when 
something struck him in the face. There 
had been a pattering of small objects around 
for some time, but he had paid no attention 
to it. Now he looked up and saw on the bank 
abov^, and peering over, Wallace and the two 
mischievous little girls of Dr. Sanders. 


"When you answer our rap, we'll come 
down," shouted Wallace, in great glee at 
having made a hit. The little girls laughed 

" You villain ! " growled Lyndon, while 
Millicent laughed as though she saw some- 
thing ridiculous in it. " Come down ! How 
— how long have you been up there ? " 

"Long — long enough to get tired of it, 
you were so absorbed," answered Wallace, 
simulating weariness. Then with more vi- 
vacity he addressed Millicent. " Miss Har- 
ding, may I see the sketch? It must be 
admirable with such a model — I dare say 
nothing of the artist — and it is ! The Cap- 
tain to the life! Allow me ?" 

He took a pencil and quickly wrote be- 
neath it, " Lyndon's Dilemma." Millicent 
laughed, but scorned to shake her head at 

" Boy's nonsense ! " she exclaimed with 
great indifference. Then she tore the sketch 
into small fragments. 

"What is it?" demanded Lyndon, with a 
touch of jealousy. " What is it all about? " 

" Just a joke, a riddle that can't be an- 
swered," said Wallace. "I am only a boy, 


and I'm snubbed according-ly. Come along, 
little girls," he continued to his small, romp- 
ing companions. " You and I will lead the 
way out. Want to ride with us, Lyndon? 
We go out on our jaunts in style, and there's 
an ambulance up here somewhere, waiting 
for us. You and Miss Harding may have the 
back seat." 

The offer was accepted, and Millicent 
climbed the bank nimbly, wdth a small girl on 
either hand. Wallace and Lyndon followed 
with the sketching-gear. Only once did 
Wallace attempt levity. 

"I say. Captain, you're making a pack- 
horse of yourself these days." 

" Perhaps I don't understand you," returned 
L3aidon, looking at him with a certain con- 
centration of glance that spoke warningly for 

" I beg your pardon," said Wallace. That 
was all. 

One evening not long after this, Mrs. Rem- 
mick gave a small card party for Millicent. 
Captain Eagan's two daughters were present 
with Miss Burns, and Lyndon, Lawrence, 
Miller, and Wallace came up from the mess. 
It was one of the small affairs, unimportant 


in itself, that had served to make that season 
fly as no season had flown in the memory of 
the regiment. 

But cards came to grief. The two Misses 
Eagan were the commonest kind of players, 
and Miss Burns giggled. So that presently 
the men began to show tricks with the cards. 
Some of them were very good at this. But 
the good tricks were soon played, and ex- 
plained, and then played over again for them 
all to see ; and then Millicent was led to 
entertain them with anecdotes of her artist 
life. There were some curious bits of Bohemia 
that she chose to relate, glimpses of a Avay 
of living that had much in common with the 
army. Not in the freedom of come-and-go, 
the civilian indifference and disregard where 
unpleasant features arose ; but in the merry- 
go-easy air of it, making such cheer as might 
be, laughing away dulness, caring little for 
a scarcity of dimes, living with a singleness 
of aim. This was like, and yet, in the set- 
ting, different. It had an air of novelty to 
the hearers, although now and then a familiar 
note was sounded. It was intense, and 
attractive, and bright enough, as Millicent 
told it, to make other life seem dingy by 


comparison. More than once a langh was 
followed by a sigh that such delights should 
be in tlie green earth, and not come near 
them. They had toys of their own, but 
these in the playliouse of the stranger were 
of an unaccustomed sort. No wonder that, 
like small children, they should feel a rising 
of envious longing at the sight. Nor did 
they want the playhouse closed ; they de- 
lighted in the new jingle, even though it 
were not theirs. 

" Ah me ! " sighed Miss Burns. " That 
must be delightful ! And you will some day 
be going back to it, and we shall be — " 
She stopped to let painful imagination com- 
plete her sentence. 

"Doing the old, demnition grind," said 
Miller. "But don't let's forecast. Miss 
Harding is not gone j^et." 

Lyndon seemed on the point of hoping 
that she would stay a. long, an indefinite, 
time yet, when Mrs. Remmick spoke. 

" I can't keep Millicent with me always. 
I wish I could ! But we must seem very dull 
after such a merry round of life as hers ! " 

" Oh, dear aunt," cried Millicent. " How 
can you ? I have a delightful time liere." 


"I am glad, dear, but we know that an 
artist cannot be forever in the wilds. Some 
day you may be leaving, and then we shall 
read in the papers of your pictures of Ameri- 
can army life. Make them like, Millicent." 

" And not necessarily that," suggested 
Miller. " We shall trust to your gener- 

Millicent deprecated any great expectations. 

" At the most, it will be something new," 
she said. " The other girls will be coming 
over from Paris, and doing the conventional 
sort of thing, just as they have been doing 
ever since the beginning. I shall be glad to 
have this unusual line." 

She gave a little gurgle of laughter. 

" What is it ? " said her aunt. 

" I was thinking of some of the girls I used 
to be with," Millicent explained. " There was 
one girl — so intense I She worked and 
studied with hardly any rest. It was the 
world to her. She used to say when we 
teased her away: ' Girls, nothing shall divert 
me from my art.' And she called it 'awt.' 
Indeed, she never went anywhere at all." 

" There might have been another reason 
for that," suggested Wallace. 


" No ; it was simply that she woukl not, 
for she had lots of invitations. She refused 
them all, for her aivt. And she was a very 
pretty girl, too. There was no lack of young 
men ready to take her anyivliere. But she 
would have nothing to do with them — • 
avoided them — said they were instruments 
of interference between her and her work. I 
remember that I said to her one day as we 
were working together : ' Do you know what 
I believe? Some day some man will ct)me 
along, and you will be just the girl to go off 
like a flash and marry him ! ' She said, so 
earnestly, ' That is just what I am afraid of 
myself.' " 

" Heroic girl ! To avoid the fascinating 
creature, man," said the Major at his wife's 

"And she is married now?" asked Law- 
rence, as though expecting an affirmative 

" No, indeed ! She is working as hard as 
ever. She even went so far as to get up a 
club, and ever so many of the girls joined, 
that was to keep them from marriage. The 
girls were all infected with her spirit of 
devotion to the work. She said, ' Girls, if 


we marry, it is death to our awt.' She 
wanted to see women do something great 
and noble in art, and not have the men carry- 
off all the glory forever. So this club was 
formed, with a constitution and all that, and 
the girls signed it in sivarms. It read beauti- 
fully : ' We do hereby promise to devote our 
lives to art,' and a lot more that I don't 
remember. She gave me a copy of it framed 
as I was leaving, and I have it at home." 
She ran on, laughing, to the end of her story. 

"A regular celibate club," said Wallace, 
with evident disfavor. 

"• Yes, just that, indeed," assented Millicent. 

"Is the membership increasing right 
along?" asked Miller. 

"I don't know. The girls were very 
staunch, the last I knew of it. They would 
hardly accept the slightest attention. And 
as for marrying, no one would have thought 
of it." 

"Deliver us from the evils we know not 
of," said Wallace, devoutly. 

" Is that the expression of your sentiments, 
you young backslider?" demanded the Major. 

"No, not mine. Some other fellow's. I 
picked them up, but they don't belong to me," 


he returned, standing up to his colors. And 
then he was patted on the back, amid much 
hiughter, for his loyalty. And so the party 
broke up. 

A little later the Major went forth for a 
taste of air before turning' in for the niofht. 
Some one was walking on the parade, and the 
Major joined him. 

" Hello, Lyndon ! What are you doing out 
here alone, with the moon and all the stars 
inspecting you?" he demanded. 

Lyndon gave a little nervous laugh, and 
determined to make a confidant of the Major. 

" I was thinking," said he, " what were the 
chances of your niece — Miss Harding — 
beino- a member of that club ? " 

The Major laid a hand on his arm. " My 
dear fellow," said he, gently, " what does it 
matter? " And Lyndon grasped at the straw 
with some comfort. 

" Hello out there ! Major ! Lyndon ! 
Come up and have a new cigar with me I " 
It was Lawrence speaking from his porch. 

So they joined him, and three small red 
dots soon glowed from the shade in line- 
But few words were spoken. 


Department headquarters were remark- 
ably active in passing upon Burton's case. 
Sometimes cases lingered there till long 
after the primal post authorities had for- 
gotten them ; but this one was attended 
to with such celerity that Willard whistled 
to himself as he broke the seals upon the 
package. By return of mail ! It was almost 
that. He took the papers to Colonel Bruff, 
merely remarking that Burton's case was 
back, and that the proceedings were aj)- 
proved. The Colonel read the endorsement, 
and then opened the papers to the finding 
and sentence of the court. He read: — 

" Plea, guilty. Finding, guilty. Sentence, 
to be dishonorably discharged the service 
of the United States, forfeiting all pay and 
allowances now due or that may become due 
him, and to be confined at hard labor, at such 
place as the Reviewing Authority may desig- 
nate, for a period of three years." Further 


examination showed that the Reviewing 
Authority, in accordance with form, had 
designated the military penitentiary at P^'ort 
Leavenworth, Kansas, as the place of con- 
finement at hard labor. Further than that, 
the recommendation to clemency made by 
a majority of the court was disregarded, 
and the court scored for its suggestion. 

"It does not appear," were the words of 
the Reviewing Authority, "that there was any 
just ground for this recommendation. The 
charges and specifications were explicit, and 
no doubt existed of the prisoner's guilt. In 
fact, the prisoner attempted no defence. The 
court seems in this particular to have been 
led astray by the appeal to sentiment made 
by the prisoner's counsel, to which no more 
than a rhetorical value should attach. The 
members of the court are reminded that a 
court martial differs from the ordinary civil 
court in that it is not only a court of justice, 
but a court of honor as well. No other sen- 
timent, however admirable in itself, is sup- 
posed to affect its considerations. The judge 
advocate is to be complimented on his con- 
duct of the case. Signed," etc. 

The Colonel read, and nodded approvingly. 


" That is quite in accord with my judgment 
— admonition and all," said he. "The ser- 
vice has quite enough to do in dispensing 
justice with honor. You will notify Prisoner 
Burton of his sentence, Mr. Willard, and 
direct the officer of the day to have him 
ironed at once." 

There was nothing else of importance in 
the morning papers. The Colonel signed 
the consolidated report, and marched up the 
parade to his quarters, followed at the regu- 
lation six paces by the nattily uniformed 
orderly of the day. And if he carried himself 
a trii3e more stiffly and returned salutes a 
shade more curtly than usual, it was because 
his personal opinions had met with approval 
in high quarters, and because Justice and 
Honor were supporting him on either hand. 
Poor Mercy, quite downcast, lingered droop- 
ing in the rear of the orderly. 

The Colonel felt that justice had been done 
Burton. He believed the man to be essen- 
tially bad, and altogether unworthy of the 
status of an enlisted man. The sentence 
passed upon him was, in the Colonel's opin- 
ion, none too severe ; and as it ridded the 
regiment of him it was all the more excel- 


lent. And the Colonel had adhered to the 
letter of the hiw in his share of the matter. 
He had neither written nor spoken a word to 
bias the action of the powerful Reviewing 
Authority at department headquarters ; it 
was thus that his honor was upright. He 
had nothing with which to reproach himself ; 
on the contrary, he was to be congratulated 
on the proper termination of another of those 
troublesome little crises so constantly arising 
in garrison discipline. For it was only by 
successfully coping with these that the garri- 
son, the department, the division, — yes, the 
whole army, — was enabled to maintain the 
necessary dignity and majesty in time of 
peace to successfully carry out the purpose 
of its being in time of war. Consequentl3% 
he perceived with satisfaction that he had 
been instrumental in maintaining the pro- 
fession of arms, to which he was devoted 
before all else, on the exalted plane it occu- 
pied in the eyes of the world. This was a 
point on which he deserved to be commended ; 
and as he could hardly explain to a second 
party the course of mental athletics he was 
going through, he was obliged to commend 
himself ; which he did. 


Under the sharp stimulation of the moment 
he perceived it was the road to preferment in 
high official circles that he was treading — 
the road to promotion. And promotion was 
a blessed thing, to be appreciated both for its 
rarity and for its increase of pay. He would 
gladly exchange the eagle of a colonelcy for 
the star of a brigadier, and he felt that the 
step was by no means an immediate improba- 
bility. In accordance with the prevailing 
custom, he would surely be made a brigadier 
a month or two before being put on the re- 
tired list for age. That was the thoughtful 
attention accorded its eligible old soldiers by 
a closely calculating government. But in 
this flush of triumphant justice he thought it 
likely that merit would be appreciated, and 
that he would yet have sway over a briga- 
dier's command for two or three active years 
at least. 

The officer of the day was notified by the 
adjutant of the final approval of the proceed- 
ings in Burton's case, and at once went to 
the guard-house and read out the sentence. 
The officer of the day happened to be Miller. 
He performed the duty in the mechanical 
manner peculiar to military men ; it was a 


bit of routine, and not at all unusual. So 
dispassionately did he conduct himself that 
Burton forgot for a moment the drunken 
blow that had reddened his face. If jNIiller 
rejoiced at the sentence, he gave no sign ; 
and if he regretted it, he was equally unde- 

" By the Colonel's orders 3'ou will be placed 
in irons immediately," said Miller, in conclu- 
sion. That was custom. It was taken as 
prima facie evidence of a man's predisposi- 
tion to evil that a court martial should sen- 
tence him to dismissal and confinement at 
Leavenworth. The advertisement of innate 
sinfulness was in the shackles. Men were 
not likely to accept stoically the penalty set 
against them ; they were far more likely to 
break away and disappear from the military 
authorities, sometimes through the conni- 
vance of comrades, and herein also lay a rea- 
son for the Colonel's order. Leavenworth 
was not popular as a place of compulsory 
residence, nor was the prison occupation of 
shoe-:r/c.king a factor for entertainment. A 
man sentenced to the penitentiary could be 
set down as a candidate for desertion at the 
first opportunity ; and there he was, a crimi- 


nal at large. In order to preserve discipline 
and to protect the community from such des- 
perate characters, irons were resorted to. 

A corporal of the guard came forth with 
two armed privates, between whom Burton 
was placed ; and Miller marched the little 
procession at once to the blacksmith's shop. 

The blacksmith was also an enlisted man, 
but he had forged the fetters for many a 
comrade. So when Miller said to him, "Iron 
this man," he at once produced a stout link 
chain of eighteen inches in length, with a bar 
at each end. The bars were heated, curved 
around Burton's ankles, and there secured. 
There was no danger of a man running away 
when he was limited to an eighteen-inch 
stride. Miller watched the blacksmith at 
work and inspected the chain to make sure 
there was no defect in it. Sometimes a link 
might be so made as to be easily broken and 
escape rendered possible. It was a part of 
Miller's duty to provide against such an 
unhappy occurrence. Having done his duty, 
he returned Burton to the guard-house for 
safe keeping, and reported to Colonel Bruff 
that his orders had been complied with. 
As the news got about, all barracks were 


a-thrill with sympathy for Burton. In quit- 
ting his okl, reckless ways he had not become 
priggish. He was yet the same jovial, merry 
companion whom the men had loved, while 
that they wondered at his capacity for drink. 
They did not now concern themselves with 
the law ; they were moved only by sympathy. 
He had made hard camps and marched long 
marches and fought cruel foes with them, and 
all with the rugged lack of gelf-consideration 
that endears man to man. He was unselfish, 
always ready to help where a soldier's help 
might be given. And now the barracks 

From barracks the ready compassion ex- 
tended to the married quarters. Calico Row 
talked of nothing else that afternoon. The 
soldiers' wives shook their heads mournfully 
over the fate of so fine a young man, and 
drank much tea for their consolation. But 
tea availed nothing with -the younger women. 
They had not yet recognized the fact that 
between Indian campaigns and courts mar- 
tial the best of the garrison was sure to go. 
It was theirs to utter the exclamations of 
pity that the elder women had outgrown. 
No deep personal interest was theirs. Bur. 


ton was liked by all, but he was chary of his 
affection. He avoided all display of the kind. 
And if one of them was preferred by him 
before the rest, the others did not know it. 
It was a universal loss they deplored. 

Just at the moment when night fell rapidly 
and began revealing her stars, the sergeant 
of the guard went about the guard-house on 
a tour of inspection, and at the first corner 
came face to face with a girl. A bar of 
light was flung from a window, across her, 
and he saw in a moment she was the drum- 
major's daughter, Annie. She had a shawl 
flung over head, and she clutched it at her 
throat with one hand, while the other she 
stretched out to the sergeant. For he was 
an old man in the regiment, and had known 
her from a baby. 

She was the first to speak, and in a whis- 
per. " Sergeant ! " 

" Annie ! You here ! " He was surprised 
to find her and hesitated between listening 
to her and sending her home. 

" Sergeant," she whispered again. " I 
must see him. I must." 

He knew whom she meant, for the garri- 
son that day was breathing but a single name, 
— Burton. 


"See Burton? Of all queer things ! No, 
no, Annie; I can't do it — and this is no place 
for a young girl at night. You ought not to 
be here. Run home now, quick." He spoke 
to her kindly, as to a little, erring child ; for 
many times had he dandled her on his knee 
when she was smaller and he was younger. 

" Ah, what harm ? " she pleaded, coming a 
little nearer. " I know the place well, I 
know ; but you'll think none the worse of 
me for being here. Indeed, it is where I' 
should be, Sergeant. Oh, bring him out here, 
if only for a moment. They'll be taking him 
away so soon ! " She laid a hand on his arm 
gently. "You know me, Sergeant — Annie 
— and you won't refuse me this I'm asking?" 
she whispered to him. 

" I love you like a daughter, Annie, and 
I'd refuse you nothing in conscience," he 
replied. " But how can I do that? " 

"Just for a moment — one little minute," 
she murmured. 

" It would be straight against orders. He 
is to see nobody. I could not do a worse 
thing this night than that." 

" By the love you bear your wife, your 
own wife," she pleaded as low as a zephyr 


might breathe. "Do not say 'no' to me. 
By the love — " 

He suddenly put his white-gloved hand 
beneath her chin, and raised her face into 
the light. 

" Are you married to him ? " he demanded. 

"I am promised," said she, in sudden 

" 'Tis the same," said he, dropping his 
hands, " and you have the best reason in the 
world for wanting to see him out of here. 
You are a good girl, Annie, but I cannot let 
you see him. I have promised to keep him 
well, and I will." 

He turned resolutely away. Annie moaned 
a little, and then sped after him. She could 
not give up so. 

" Then do this at least for me," she said. 
" Give him this — and this. See ? I give 
them to you for him ; I can trust you." A 
little folded paper lay in one outstretched 
hand, and in the other a small three-cornered 
file. That way lay escape from the shackles. 

" Can you ? " said the Sergeant. " But I 
can't trust myself. God bless you, Annie, 
for your true love, but do not come to me 


Then she became fiercely indignant, and 
"upbraided him. 

" Are you a man at all ? " she cried. " Have 
you the heart of a man in your breast? Or 
is it crushed out of you? Are you a mere 
duty machine that cannot love ? Oh-h-h — " 

He took her by the two shoulders. 

" If you stay here longer, you will get into 
trouble," said he, sternly. " Go home. To- 
night I am on dut}^ ; I am a soldier, and noth- 
ing else. To-morrow I march off duty, and my 
man's heart will beat. Go home. Can you 
not wait ? " 

Then she bowed her head, and sobbed piti- 
fully. " Forgive me ! " she whispered. " I 
love him so ! " She fled through the darkness 
homeward, as she was bidden. 


Each morning at guard-mounting the 
prisoners were paraded with the old guard, 
and Burton's shackles were tested by the new 
officer of the day, generally in person. This 
was at first done carefully, then perfunctoril}'-, 
and then left to a non-commissioned officer, 
who made a report on their condition. To 
all appearances Burton had calmly accepted 
his sentence as the inevitable, and would make 
no effort to avoid it. Had it been otherwise, 
the vicrilance would not have been relaxed, 
and Burton would not soon have been going 
out to the reception of the new guard with 
liis shackles so filed as to be broken by the 
merest jerk. The filing was neatly done, and 
was concealed by rags which he had obtained 
permission to wear around his ankles to pre- 
vent chafing. The cursory examination to 
which they were subjected revealed nothing, 
and he was looked upon as an unusually 
safe and trusty prisoner, waiting patiently 


for the day when he should be transferred to 

But this coukl be only a mistaken conclu- 
sion. It was equivalent to crediting him with 
a continuance of all the good resolutions upon 
which he had formed his conduct during Lyn- 
don's captaincy, when the present was satis- 
fying and the future held something worth 
striving for. He had nothing now to gain by 
exemplary conduct ; but he might, indeed, dis- 
semble, and so win a chance of escape. His 
moral fabric, founded upon a lively hope of 
reward, necessarily fell when that reward 
became less than air. He retrograded, and 
became at heart what he had been, with the 
advantage of a period of good behavior on 
which to base appearances. He appreciated 
this advantage fully, and turned it to account. 
The officers were deceived by him, and it was 
given to only a few of his fellows to know his 
intentions. But these few were trusty from 
his jooint of view, and were indeed spirits 
upon whom he could rely. They were much 
such men as he himself, possessing in high 
degree the fiery quality that makes a man 
especially to be desired in the field and within 
reach of danger, and converts him into a sad 


dog of the guard-liouse in the safety and 
seclusion of the garrison. They were essen- 
tially fighting men, and always ready to 
accept chances. By their kind offices matters 
had been well arranged, looking to Burton's 
escape and the prevention of his capture. 

It was not known when orders misfht be 
received to forward Burton to the peniten- 
tiary. The Colonel looked for the missive 
every day, but it did not come, and he was 
in the dark as to the intentions of his supe- 
riors. And yet, by that unferreted system 
of communication that enables the barracks 
to persistently forestall the headquarters in 
matters of news, Burton had been informed 
that a convoy of prisoners was at San Antonio, 
ready to start, and that he would probably 
be ordered out to join them en route. The 
order was likely to arrive any day, and its 
arrival would diminish his chances of escape 
to a minimum ; for then he would be deprived 
of all liberty, and kept a close cell-iDrisoner 
till the hour of departure. It was time to 
cast aside his passiveness and to act boldly. 

The opportunity came on a day when 
Lyndon was on duty. The men had been 
quiescent for a week, and garrison-prisoners 


were scarce. There were not enough of them 
to do the police work usually expected of 
them ; this was the good result of Colonel 
Bruff's administration. In the emergency, 
general prisoners went to labor in unaccus- 
tomed places. For three days the wood-yard 
had been short handed, and Burton had 
swung an axe there, always under the eye 
of a sentinel. On the fourth day the sentinel 
to whom he was told off, a long-limbed speci- 
men of the renegade Yankee to whom the 
Southwest offers a refuge, marched him to 
the extreme limit of the yard for work. It 
was half a mile from the garrison proper, 
and well out of sight. Great quantities of 
cordwood were piled on the area in measured 
sections, and made a labyrinth of narrow 
passages through which they had to pass, and 
among which a man could easil}'' elude pur- 
suers. From the end of the yard the ground 
fell away in a clean and gentle slope to the 
creek, where the yellow stones showed beneath 
the shallow water. Beyond was a fringe of 
pecan trees ; and beyond that, the swell and 
dell of the prairie for miles upon miles until 
the blue lid of heaven sliut down upon it. 
It was a scene to make broad thoughts and 


hopes of freedom bud and swell in the breast 
of man. It was a familiar view to Burton ; 
and yet he looked upon it and his nearer 
surroundings with a little whistle of satis- 

" You're fond of scenery ? You like it, 
eh ? " said the Yankee sentinel, with a grin. 

" Oh, it is fine, fine ! " said Burton, carelessly. 
The man was not in his confidence, and 
might not be entirely reliable. He struck 
the axe into a log several times to convey to 
a distance the idea of labor. " It's a fine, 
grand country, old man ? " he added, a trifle 
more enthusiastically. 

The sentinel gazed critically into the blue 

"I can't say I like it myself — well, not so 
very much. I have a big liking for moun- 
tains. The bigger they are, the more I like 
them. A fellow don't feel so dern conspicu- 
ous, somehow. He can't see things so mighty 
far off." He lingered over his words as 
though to convey an idea that might not be 

Burton fell in promptly with his remark. 

" That's so," he assented. " Mountains 
are a good thing if you don't want to be 


seen; but then, that's just the place they'd 
go to look for you." 

" Might be so," drawled the sentinel. " No 
telling where they won't go when it comes to 
that. And yet, there is times, as you know 
and as I know, when a mountain 'ud come in 
right handy." 

" As how ? " asked Burton. 

" Right off — well, in there, somehow," 
said the Yankee, pointing across the creek to 
the wavering blue of the prairie. " One lit- 
tle hill in there would help out the scenery, 
to my idea, and be a good thing other ways, 

" There's other things just as good," said 
Burton. He did not know how far he might 
trust this man. He was not the one he 
would have chosen for the occasion. The 
indications were satisfactory, but it was not 
advisable to run any chances of error. He 
might not be so favorably inclined as he 

Burton chopped steadily for two minutes. 
It was well to let the sound of the axe be 
heard; inquisitive officers might thus be 
barred from personal visits of inspection ; and 
the conversation was becoming interesting. 


The time for words would soon be past, and 
then would follow action. Burton dealt 
heavy, resounding blows. 

Some cowboys, riding along the opposite 
bank, saw him, and shouted derisively about 
" soldiering " at his work. Burton stopped 
and listened. Two soldiers together, a sen- 
tinel and a prisoner, will do in a fair day the 
work of one half-grown boy. This is an 
accepted basis of calculation, and for that 
reason the phrase of the cowboys conveyed 
a caustic meaning. Burton scowled after 

" Dern 'em ! " said the sentinel. 

" Those fellows never are 'round when 
we're doing soldier work," said Burton, bit- 
terly. " When we're chasing a few Apaches, 
or a whole tribe is chasing we, those fellows 
are taking mighty good care there's no holes 
shot in their precious hides." 

" Dern 'em ! " repeated the sentinel, with 

Burton chopped. The sentinel lit a pipe 
and sat down comfortably. He offered Bur- 
ton a chew off his plug, which Burton ac- 
cepted. The prisoner's axe lay idle beside 
the sentinel's rifle. 


" Did you ever see the way these Mexican 
troops do?" asked Burton, socially, as he 
adjusted the quid. " You ever see them at 
all ? " 

"None to speak of. How'd you mean?" 

"I used to see them up here at Juarez, 
across from old Fort Bliss. They send a 
prisoner down to the river for a couple of 
buckets of water; a sentinel goes to watch 
the prisoner ; a corporal goes to watch the 
sentinel ; a sergeant of the guard goes to 
watch the corporal ; and some sort of a lieu- 
tenant goes along with a gun and a knife to 
see that the whole procession don't desert. 
That's the way with them. They don't use 
much water, those fellows." 

The sentinel laughed noiselessly. It was 
a good story, and he enjoyed the local 

"I reckon it's something the same way 
with us," he said, tentatively. 

Burton looked at hira narrowl3^ 

" What do you mean ? " he said. 

" Oh, nothing. I was just a-thinking that 
when a fellow gets sick of soldiering he 
ought to skip out, whether he's a Greaser or 
a white man. / would, I swear I would. 


Soraeliow, I'd owe it to myself to do it. I 
ain't sick of it 3'et ; my little old thirteen 
dollars a month is coming in too slick and 
easy. But if I didn't have that to look 
forward to — well, I know what I'd do." 

The two men looked at each other and 
nodded. They commenced to understand 
each other. 

" I'd skip before I'd go to Leavenworth," 
said Burton, in a low tone. 

" Oh, a dern sight sooner," rejoined the 

Burton stood up straight, and looked all 

" Might give a few chops, for gen'rul 
effect," suggested the sentinel. And Burton 
cut out a chip or two with a great noise. 

" Don't work too hard. The day's young 
yet," said the vigilant sentinel. And Burton 

" Is that a pretty good rifle of yours ? " 
asked Burton, presently. 

" Fair — yes, that is to say, it looks all 
right," said the sentinel. "But I never have 
any luck with it. I couldn't qualify at 
the targets. And I'm the worst sort of a 


"That SO?" 

" Fact. And I certainly ain't much confi- 
dence in it to-day," he continued dryly. 
"I'm using reloaded ammunition, and that 
cartridge in there ain't got enough powder — 
well, not enough to carry to the crick ! 
And my firing pin's broke, too. No, I ain't 
banking much on that gun to-day." 

He looked up quizzically as he finished 
speaking, and Burton bent over him with 
great earnestness. 

"Do you know what I'm going to do?" he 

" I know what I'd do," responded the sen- 

" I'm going to do that same," said Burton. 
"Presently you'll see a couple of horses come 
behind the pecans over there. There'll be 
a girl riding one — the drum-major's Annie — 
my Annie, by God ! For we're promised, 
do you know it? That other horse is for 
me. — We've got our plan all made. I 
shall break my anklets and run. You can 
holler 'halt' all you want to, and fire 3'our 
gun ; I shan't stop, and you don't have 
to hit anything. — Then we ride away and 
ride away, Annie and I, and every man in 


barracks will say Godspeed ! And it's no 
cavalry squad that'll find us and bring us 
back! We know a trail — but I've said 
enough. — First you know, I'm off. So I'll 
say it now, good-by to you and all the 

The Yankee sentinel knocked out his pipe. 
He did not want to be found smoking in the 
excitement about to ensue. 

"I'm right sorry to lose you," said he, 
"and so are all the boys. But I'm a good 
American. I believe in freedom and equality. 
One man's good's another, I guess. I know 
/ wouldn't do no penal service — no, not for 
the whole United States army. Well, I 
reckon there's your girl now, over behind 
them trees. — Hello ! Gone ? I swear, he took 
me by surprise ! " 

One whistle had pierced through the wood ; 
and with a twist of ankle and wrist, Burton 
had snapped the fetters apart, and was run- 
ning as for life down the slope to the creek. 
He made for the shallowest part, and the 
horses were waiting just beyond. 

The sentinel gained his feet with a great 
show of celerit3^ 

" Stop ! " he cried in a husky tone. " Halt I " 


he shouted. And then, in a yet louder tone, 
as the distance was increased, " Halt, or Til 
fire ! " 

Burton made an irreverent backward move- 
ment with his hand and kept on his course. 

" I reckon I'd better fire now," said the 
sentinel, and bringing his rifle hip high, he 
pulled the trigger. There was a small flash, 
a loud report, and Burton flung up his hands 
and pitched heavily forward down the hill to 
the water's edge. Annie's scream rang over 
the water, for she had witnessed every move- 

The sentinel looked in amazement from liis 
gun to the convulsed, writhing body of the 
man and back again, unable to grasp the 
whole occurrence. Then he dropped his 
gun, crying: 

" My Gowd, I've hit him ! " 

And he would have run forward to where 
Burton lay with his hands in the edge of 
the creek. But just then a composed voice 

" You are mistaken ; I fancy that was my 

He looked around, terror-stricken. Lyndon, 
pale but very calm, was at that moment 


emerging from an alley of the wood-yard, 
with a smoking revolver in his hand. 

"We will leave him lying there," said 
Lyndon. " To the guard-house ! Forward, 
march ! " 


The shot had been heard at the guard- 
house, and the sergeant of the guard, acting 
with prompt decision, had at once ordered a 
coi-poral and a private of the guard in the 
direction of the sound. On the way they 
were met by Captain Lyndon, marching the 
delinquent sentinel to safe keeping. By his 
order the private ran to the hospital for a 
stretcher and men to carry it, and the cor- 
poral hurried to the place where Burton was 
lying. Lyndon hastened the steps of his 
prisoner, saw him behind a firmly bolted grat- 
ing, and then went directly in search of 
Colonel Bruff to report to him the whole 
proceeding. The matter of medical attend- 
ance for Burton was beyond his province. 
He gave himself no uneasiness concerning it, 
for he knew the hospital work under Dr. 
Sanders was as faithfully attended to as that 
of any department of the post. But out of 
sympathy he was resolved to go to the hos- 


pital so soon as his report should be received, 
and learn the condition of the wounded man. 
He might have preferred to do that first, but 
military observances forbade. 

The Colonel's composure abated nothing 
as he listened to Lyndon's statement that he 
had been giving his company a little gallery 
practice with rifle and pistol, and had ended 
with his own revolver full of service car- 
tridges ; then he had gone by the guard-house 
casually, and had inquired where the pris- 
oners were working. Learning of Burton's 
exposed place, he had walked down through 
the wood-yard, and arrived just as Burton 
burst his shackles and ran. He at once 
divined that the sentinel was conniving at 
the escape, and was convinced of it by his 
listless shouts and his unaimed shot. He 
had fired at the same time, left Burton Ipng 
where he fell, and had secured the sentinel 
as a prisoner in the guard-house. The sur- 
geon had been notified. Burton had not 
been killed, though he might possibly be 
dead by that time. He was probably already 
at the hospital, and they could learn of his 
condition in a short time. Captain Lyndon 
stood silently at attention, awaiting the 
Colonel's pleasure. 


The Colonel regretted the shooting. He 
called it a "regrettable incident." There 
was a general feeling abroad, he said, of hos- 
tility to the shooting of soldiers except by 
an armed foe. Personally, he thought a little 
occasional firearm practice by their officers 
\yould have a salutary effect upon them ; but 
the military being subservient to the civil 
power, his views were not generally accepted. 
There was a point involved upon which the 
Regulations were not sufficiently exijlicit ; 
while they forbade capital punishment for 
any offence, sentinels were enjoined to pre- 
vent the escape of prisoners by any and all 
means in their power. Guns and cartridges 
came within the limitation of the word 
" means " ; hence, shooting under such cir- 
cumstances was justifiable before the Regu- 
lations, and was morally right, anyway. 
Captain Lyndon had done no more than his 
duty, and the Colonel was pleased to say so. 

This was the sole occasion upon which the 
Colonel was known to make adverse criticism 
of the Regulations. 

Lyndon regretted the "incident" more 
deeply than the Colonel appeared to; for he 
had been an active participant in it, and the 


Colonel was but a passive judge. Lyndon 
was not in the habit of shooting men — par- 
ticularly men of his own command. He had 
borne himself exceptionally well in several 
Indian campaigns ; but shooting white men 
was different work. Still, he did not allow 
himself to be influenced by any considera- 
tions of sentiment. He had conceived it to 
be his duty to shoot, and he had shot. That 
duty did not seem a whit the pleasanter or 
the more desirable on account of the Colo- 
nel's commendation. Under the same cir- 
cumstances, he would do the same again, for 
it was the only course open to him. But it 
was a course that brought with it a stern, 
unjdelding, unwelcome sense of satisfaction. 

Other times, other manners. 

It was a matter of surprise to himself that 
he should have been called upon to do this 
thing. Superficially considered, his habit of 
discipline would never have led to it. But 
there were times when only a hard hand 
would do at all, and it was an element of his 
nature, perhaps unappreciated by himself, 
that enabled him to rise to the demands of 
occasion. He looked upon Burton as a 
victim of harsh judgments, rashly delivered ; 


but therein lay no reason why he shoukl 
shrink from inflicting the final stroke when 
it was required of him. His own ideas of 
a lenient, flexible discipline were not applica- 
ble to all cases ; some men would require a 
different treatment. His would fail with 
such as completely as the generally accepted 
terms had failed with Burton, though the 
end mio-ht not be so laden with disaster. 

Burton's end was the natural one for such 
a case ; but Lyndon thought it a curiously 
unhappy combination of fates that compelled 
him to put the finishing touch to the bad 
work of others. If he had not taken the 
pistol witli him, he would not have shot 
Burton; and if he had not gone to gallery 
practice in Lawrence's place, he would not 
have had the pistol ; and if Lawrence had 
not asked to be excused from the drill, he 
certainly would not have gone near it. Law- 
rence had taken advantage of his being on 
duty, and therefore obliged to remain in 
garrison, to ask to be excused so that he 
might go riding with Miss Harding. Lyndon 
gave a little start when that memory recurred 
to him, and thought it gave an added touch 
of bitterness to the whole unpleasant "inci- 


dent." He was nearly ready now to call it 
a catastrophe.. 

Tliey had looked very well riding out of 
the post, — Lawrence on the clean, white 
horse that had carried him through the flood, 
and Millicent on an easy bay loaned by good- 
natured Captain Eagan from his troop in 
superb disregard of regulations. Eagan might 
have loaned her his entire troop, boot and 
saddle, had Millicent expressed any desire 
for it. He had a broad, irreflective way of 
doing grandly generous things that was in 
keeping with his good Irish name; and he 
was as nearly INIillicent's humble slave as 
Mrs. Eagan thought proper. But Eagan was 
not alone in his homage. The entire garrison 
was quite at her service. The married men 
did what they could ; the promised men went 
a step farther and indicated what might have 
been expected of them under more favorable 
conditions ; and the men yet to be promised 
vied with one another in showing her such 
attention as she would accept. Lyndon 
might easily have persuaded himself that he 
had paid her a real attention in excusing 
Lawrence from drill ; for thereby she had 
her ride and her escort, and without it she 


must have clone without either. At any rate, 
he waved his cap gaily, and looked after 
them with the eyes of self-sacrifice as they 
cantered up the Line and out through the 
west gate. The world was before them, 
broad and free, to ride upon it where they 

They went forth, well-wished and merry, 
happy in the simple exhilaration of the day. 
A pale blue sky sheltered them, growing 
dark as it came evenly down to earth in folds 
and panels. The air was still. Larks rose 
from the prairie as their horses' feet padded 
softly and regularly on the turf. Now and 
then a road-runner, ablaze with brilliant 
plumage, cut along their path, or with an 
eye single to premeditated danger in their 
approach, scuttled into the undergrowth with 
a heart palpitating at the narrow escape. 
Plover in comfortable colonies rose fluttering 
above them, and when they had gone by, 
settled again to their chosen ground of 
repast. Snipe tilted along in wet places, 
uttering sharp little cries. The world was 
instinct with life and vitality ; its creatures 
were everywhere, joyous in living. The 
grasses even bore themselves with a stalwart 


grace, and the flowers stared unwinkingly 
into the face of the sun. It was a brioht 
world, a happy world, a world for two reason- 
ing, appreciative, language-speaking beings 
to live in. And these two rode through it, 
each listening within to a heart-song of joy 
and peace in this fair world that was theirs. 

They reined in to a walk while they went 
down the steep cut that led to the creek, 
and they stopped half-way across the ford to 
watch the water wrinkle about the horses' 
hocks. The horses put down their heads, 
stretching an immeasurable length of neck, 
and drank. "Like a toboggan slide," said 
Lawrence. " Or an accordeon, drawn out," 
said jNIillicent. They looked at each other, 
laughing in happy appreciation of each 
other's similes. Down below them the 
stream was creeping fearingly to successive 
steps of a limestone ledge over which it 
flowed, and taking the sudden leap from one 
step to another with mingled sounds of antic- 
ipative dread and jubilant surprise. " ' Here 
we go ! Here we go ! ' That's what the 
water is singing," said Millicent. But Law- 
rence said, No ; it was a secret the water was 
babbling about big bass and catfish in the 


rapids and j)ools, and that none but a fisher- 
man could understand it. " Then you sliall 
transhite it for me," said Millicent, quite as 
well satisfied with his version as her own. 

And with that they rode up the other side 
to the prairie level. Then on and along 
the creekside, between the singing brown 
water and the green growth of bush and 
grass that swept away and up to the loving 
blue sky, far away. It was a world without 
spot or blemish on its face, doubt or fear in 
its heart. On and on they rode. 

They went slowly by a belt of pecan trees, 
the shadows barring their path and flicker- 
ing in their faces in constantly passing pat- 
terns. The sound of an axe came to them 
remotely. " Some poor prisoner is earning his 
pay," remarked Lawrence. Prisoner ! They 
both smiled at the word. In very truth, 
each of them was a jsi'isoner, owning the 
other as jailer. It w^as a happy occupation, 
this of being a prisoner. The axe bore no sig- 
nificance. This unseen man, this prisoner, 
became a flj'ing image in their happy world. 
They were not in the least concerned with 
him, but from his state of curtailed liberty 
he was in harmony with them and theirs. 


Prisoner, indeed ! Yes, forever and a day, 
said their eyes. What could be better? 

As they went, a girl came towards them, 
ridinff one horse and leadincj another. She 
looked at them with a guilty color, and smiled 
as she passed in safety. Lawrence idly rec- 
ognized the fact that she was a garrison girl, 
but his thoughts followed her no further ; she 
might have led a dozen horses, and he would 
hardly have seen them. She avoided Law- 
rence, and passed on the other side ; and her 
eyes encountered Millicent's with deep, plead- 
ing meaning, insomuch that Millicent's color 
rose answeringly. 

" That girl is going to meet her lover," said 
Millicent, confidently. " She will meet him, 
and they will ride away together on those 
horses — ride, and hardly think where." 

" You know this?" asked Lawrence, roused 
to interest. 

" Oh, perfectly. She looked at me as she 
went by. I could read." 

Lawrence considered the matter closely. 

" I believe you are right," said he. " She 
smiled after she passed you, knowingly. I 
hope he won't disappoint her. Yes, they will 
meet — perhaps she is going to ask him to 
elope with her ! " 


]\Iillicent laughed at the absurdity of the 
thought. Lawrence rode nearer to her. 

"That makes a difference, doesn't it?" he 


" Eloping." 

"Decidedly. All the difference in the 

And more they said, but with their eyes, 
too rare and subtle a language for words. 
And they rode through the Gates of Joy, 
not knowing that the road led thither. And 
presently they came to a broad, placid pool 
in the creek's course, with tall trees around, 
and green, flat-leaved plants spreading on 
its surface. There they dismounted, and sat 
beneath a tree, conversing, till suddenly both 
started, and looked at each other question- 

" I thought I heard a shot," said Lawrence, 

" And I — I heard no shot, but a single 
scream," answered Millicent. 

" No scream ; only a shot," he maintained. 

They listened fearingly for a repetition of 
the sounds, but heard nothing. And they 
breathed more easily and were reassured. 


"It was nothing — we were mistaken," said 
thev. " Oh, it could have been nothing: at 
alL" So they composed themselves again to 
their own affair. Their conversation became 
entirely personal, and Millicent referred as 
with pride to his fording of the river, to his 
ride for a dance with her, and to incidents 
that she had learned of his army life from 
other lips than his own, 

" I almost believe there is nothing you can- 
not do," said she at the last, adoringly. 

" Even to making you love me a little ? " 
he asked, not in the least degree doubt- 

" So it would appear," she replied with hap- 
piness, and touching a ring he had placed on 
her finger. 

They remained there till shadows were 
at their shortest, and then rode slowly back. 
People who saw them go down tlie Line 
nodded to one another and averred, "They 
love each other ; they are engaged," and none 
were found to gainsay it. 

That evening, in familiar privacy, Lawrence 
told his captain of the existing arrangement. 
Lyndon went white for a moment. The day 
had been one long trial to him. Then he ral- 


lied and congratulaled Lawrence as warmly 
as that happy man could wish. 

" And Avhen did this occur ? " asked Lyn- 
don, later, with an attempted lightness of 

" Six days ago, between 8 and 8.30 o'clock 
of the evening," replied Lawrence, candidly. 

Lyndon sighed lightly. "I am glad it 
wasn't to-day," he said unguardedly. " I 
should not have liked that." 

" Why ? " demanded Lawrence, quickly. 

" Oh, nothing — nothing, I assure you," 
Lyndon replied in his most convincing man- 
ner. But it would not do. " Only, then, 
because it has been a day of ill luck. But 
that is only a fancy, anyway, and of not the 
slightest account." 


The announcement of the engagement 
was not longer delayed, and it was received 
Ly the garrison with ready congratulations. 
Every one had a little private set of joy-bells 
tuned to the occasion, on which they rung 
endless chimes. Even Lyndon put a good 
face on the matter, and joined in. Major 
Remmick had a pretty clear conception 
of the disappointment he had suffered, but 
beyond a crushing, comforting grip of the 
hand, such as big-hearted, slow-tongued men 
bestow on each other in serious seasons, he 
gave no sign. Even to Mrs. Remmick he 
made no admissions when that excellent lady 
sought confirmation of her suspicions. 

But it was not a time for thinking of dis- 
appointments. Lawrence, himself, in his ex- 
uberance of new life, overtopped all other 
considerations. Wallace greeted him like a 
brother in the happiness that is bej'ond under- 
standing, — save by the initiated, — and the 


two formed an unusually strong friendship on 
the strength of their common interest. The 
post sutler was suavity itself those days, smil- 
ing in his prosperity ; and Lawrence poured 
out a month's pay in champagne for thirsty 
comrades who held that his happiness would 
last all the longer for being thoroughly " wet 
down " at the outset. This was a phase of 
the new relationship that the ladies were 
expected to maintain a fiction of knowing 
nothing about. Of course, they did know, 
and the men knew that they knew. But it 
was a matter only to be hinted at in glances 
of the eye, or in intelligent little laughs and 
gurgles. This prohibition for speech gave to 
it the fascination of wickedness, and had a 
clear financial value for the sutler. He did not 
appreciate it, however; he smiled vacantly, 
and ordered up another basket, and swore 
profanely that the gentlemen of this regi- 
ment were better headed men and could 
punish more bottles than the gentlemen of 
any other regiment he ever see ; and he had 
been sutlering forty year. This was in itself 
quite an effective argument in favor of con- 
tinuing the punishment. 

The ladies, from Mrs. Colonel Bruff down 


to Mrs. Second Lieutenant Bates, gathered 
around Millicent in a cooing circle, and re- 
peatedlj'- assured her of the joy they found 
in her own. They would be glad to welcome 
her as really one with them, they said. As 
a visitor at the post she had been able to form 
a good idea of army life ; but to know its full 
delight she must pass within the doors and 
abide there. Her heart must be in the army, 
— indeed, there was no doubt that it was 
there already, — but she must follow it. A 
delightful fact that they communicated to 
her, and that made the life throughout ro- 
mantic, was that army marriages were love 
marriages. This was the rule. What but 
love, and the most pronounced love at that, 
would tempt a girl to leave a home in the 
land where homes were — in the states, 
God's land — and follow a penniless lieu- 
tenant into a barren wilderness to become 
forever a nomad ? It was farewell to a home, 
but welcome to a love that should take the 
place of home and all things else. 

As the ladies told her these things in low, 
convincing tones, their cheeks flushed and 
their eyes brightened in attestation. Expos- 
ure to sun and wind in an unkind country 


made an early ruin of the delicate charms of 
their girlhood ; but there was youthful blood 
in their hearts, still pulsing to the measure of 
their young happiness. And many in glad- 
ness repeated to Millicent the lesson Wallace 
had learned some weeks before : " In the eyes 
of army men, my dear, army women never 
srrow old." This was the shibboleth of their 
enduring joy and peace. The young women 
repeated it in blind, trusting acceptance, and 
the older ones in the loyal forgetfulness born 
of experience. And it bore a great satisfac- 
tion into the lieart of Millicent. 

They reasoned directly to the conclusion 
that should love come to one in the guise of 
an army officer, there was sufficient and good 
reason for disregarding all other interests and 
absorbing one's self in that alone. Millicent 
was very glad none of them made any refer- 
ence to her art. Truth to tell, this phase had 
occasioned her no little uneasiness. She had 
feared comment, perhaps from some unmar- 
ried but marriageable girls of the regiment, 
as being temporarily unpleasant ; but the chief 
trouble lay within hei-self. This seemed so 
inconsistent an ending to the career she had 
planned, for which she had studied. She 


had never thought to be married. She had 
ehminated that from her plan of life. Art 
was to have been the object of her devotion, 
and excellence in her own work her sole 
ambition. She had even flattered herself 
into the belief that she was incapable of love, 
and then it had come upon her unaware. 
She was a disappointment to herself to find 
that, like other girls, she could so take up 
with a Man, to the u-reparable injury of Art. 
It was humbling ; she perceived there was 
nothing distinctive about her, after all. This 
happily drew her thoughts from art to a de- 
lightful wondering as to what He saw in her 
to prefer — she still being in a humble frame 
of mind. After all, it was as well. Art was 
art, and but an artificial part of life, a manu- 
factured issue ; but love was the whole of life 
— was life itself ; and upon that conclusion 
she became content. After that the thumb- 
tacked sketches and the paint-brushes gradu- 
'/ally disappeared from her room, the sketching- 
umbrella and camp-stool gathered dust in a 
corner, and a sardonic spider wove a web 
rope about her easel. It was a process of 
tapering off the old life and making it sub- 
ordinate to the new. 


One time she pleased Lawrence much and 
flattered his vanity, which was robust in those 
days, by showing him a rear-view sketch of 
an officer on a white horse lighting his way 
through a raging flood of yellow water. Be- 
neath it she had written : " The Beginning." 
He recognized the Colorado-crossing incident, 
and carried off the sketch in triumph. He re- 
garded it as wonderfully clever ; his imagina- 
tion was vivid then. He had a frame made 
for it by the garrison carpenter, and would 
sit by the hour, smoking pipes of incense 
before it; for it was a piece of her work, 
something she had done, something of him 
and for him. 

But while happiness ruled in the courts of 
the Line, there was Aveeping and black despair 
on Calico Row. In the drum-major's quar- 
ters Annie lay, with fierce rebellion in her 

" It ain't fair, it ain't fair ! " she repeated, 
while her mother sat helplessly by. " They've 
got money and clothes and everything they 
want ; and if that ain't enough, they've got 
each other. An' all I had was my man, my 
lover, and he's dyin', dyin' in hospital ! Shot 
comin' to me, and dyin' ; and I can't see 


him ! They've got everything. I've got noth- 
ing. It ain't fair — and I hate 'em ! " 

Her mother listened with nodding sympa- 
thy, and drank tea. 

" Try a cup, Annie," she urged. " It'll do 
you good." 

Tea for the crushed heart ! Annie turned 
away, moaning and crying in her deep misery, 
for which the only solace offered was tea. 

" I couldn't liave him livin', and I can't see 
him dyin'. It ain't fair ! " 

"It'll wear out," said her mother, sooth- 
ingly. " There, dear heart, don't take on so. 
It'll wear away. There's many a good man 
shot, and many a girl crying, in the army. 
I've been a girl ; I know. It'll all wear away 
in time." 

" Time, time — that means living without 
him. I don't want time. I want him — or I 
want to die," moaned Annie. 

Her motlier shook her head and emptied 
the cup. She knew ; she had been a girl in 
the army. Annie was taking it hard, but it 
wouldn't last so. In a garrison where girls 
were scarce and single men plenty, there 
would be no lack of rivals for Burton's place. 
Some one of them would be successful, and 


Annie would smile again. She knew ; it had 
been so in her own girlhood, and natures did 
not change, though time ran never so fast. 
She liked Burton, but there were other men. 
She knew that, although Annie seemed as 
yet strangely unconscious of it. Burton was 
djdng, but Annie would recover. Her sym- 
pathy was with Annie, but her tea-dosed 
equanimity was undisturbed. Heart wounds 
heal rapidly, and all would be well in a short 

Beyond all doubt. Burton's last days were 
passing. The hospital steward said so, and 
that was equivalent to the verdict of a jury 
of consulting surgeons. A man could not, 
dared not, get well once the hospital steward 
had given him up. Burton had sent a mes- 
sage or two to Annie, and the steward had 
delivered them with the bearing of an official 
go-between for the eternal and the temporal. 
The surgeon, too, said nothing hopeful. From 
the time when Burton had been picked up and 
taken on a stretcher to the hospital ward, he 
had sunk steadily, though slowly. With con- 
scientious care Dr. Sanders had done what 
lay in his poM^er ; but Burton's was a case 
for the grave-digger rather than for him. 


Lyndon made a point of going to the hos- 
pital on daily visits of inquiry. On one of 
these occasions he went into the ward where 
Burton lay alone, and spoke with him. This 
was something he had wished, yet dreaded, 
to do. To his surprise and gratification, 
Burton made it easy for him. 

"It was a mean trick. Captain," said he, 
his weak fingers clinging in Lyndon's stronger 
grasp, " a mean trick to break away when you 
was ofhcer of the day. For j^ou've treated 
me — treated somehow diif erent — better — 
from any officer I ever saw. You — seemed 
to forget I was a private soldier, and treated 
me like a man. I was mighty sorry to make 
you any trouble by breaking when you was 
on duty ; but it came that way, and I couldn't 
help it. And I didn't want to go to Leaven- 
worth ; I didn't deserve to go. But you 
said all that in your speech. I've been want- 
ing to thank you for that, and the way you 
used me, and to say I was sorry. I'm glad 
to have the chance." 

"Burton, I want to say that it was my 
great misfortune to bring you to this bed. 
That shot — " 

"It's all right. Captain. Don't you think 


I care a rap about it. You only saved me 
the trouble of living a few more years, up and 
down, drunk and sober. I know I've got to 
die, and as far as I can see I'd rather put in 
those years there than here. I ain't very fit, 
but I'm as fit as I ever would be. All the 
chaplains this side of — of Halifax, wouldn't 
make any difference. It seems a little rough 
on Annie, just now; I'm sorry for her. But 
I reckon it's better so. You did your duty, 
Captain, and I'm glad you did it. It's all 

" I sympathize with Annie," said the Cap- 
tain, very low. 

"It's all right, Captain," said Burton 

" Yes, it's all right," said Lyndon, softly. 

Burton reiterated that it was all right, and 
he seemed to find comfort in making the 
assurance, and in holding by Lyndon's hand ; 
so that Lyndon stood by the cot much longer 
than he had expected to — standing there, 
indeed, until Burton fell into a short slum- 
ber, and he could release himself from his 
grasp without disturbing him. He went out 
on tip-toe, holding his sword with one hand 
lest it should rattle, and so wake Burton up. 


That night, as he looked out of window, he 
saw lights passing in the hospital, and shad- 
ows quickly thrown on lighted spaces. It was 
an unusual stir, and he went over to the sur- 
geon's little office to learn what it meant. 
A hospital orderly rushed out past him into 
the night, and i-an up the Line. Ljaidon 
heard his footfalls on the gravel to the far 
end. Presently he returned, and Colonel 
Bruff was with him. With a hare nod, the 
commanding officer went up the stair, fol- 
lowed by the orderl^^, and Lyndon was alone 
again. He wondered what strange event had 
called the Colonel out at that hour. Some 
case of emergency, evidently. As he pon- 
dered, he heard steps returning down the 
stair, echoing in the dead silence. He 
turned, and met Dr. Sanders. 

" Hello, Lyndon," said the Doctor, in sur- 
prise. " I didn't know you were here. I'm 
glad you are, though." 

He wiped his brow with a handkerchief, 
although it was not a warm night. 

" Yes," said Lyndon. " I saw the lights 
and came over. I didn't know what they 
meant, and I — my head was full of Burton, 
poor fellow — " 


"He won't last the night through," said 
the Doctor. 


"No." Then with an air of relief in the 
telling he added : 

"He just sent for the Colonel, and the 
Colonel is with him now." 

" I was here wlien he came," said Lyndon. 
"It is unusual? " 

"Very." The Doctor seemed to want to 
say more, but to be unable to speak. 

" I had a little talk with him to-day." 

" He wanted to talk with the Colonel, too," 
replied the Doctor, after a short pause. " Not 
on official matters," he added, thinking Lyn- 
don appeared doubtful of the interview. 

" No-o," said Lyndon, thoughtfully. 

The Doctor leaned towards him confiden- 

" I suppose I ought not to leave a patient 
so near death as he is," he said, " but it 
was the Colonel's orders. He motioned me 
towards the door after the first word the 
poor fellow spoke. They wanted to be alone 
together ; doctor's of no use, anyway. I was 
Avilling to go. That first word — " The 
Doctor stopped again, as though unable to 


continue. The perspiration stood on his 

" What was that word, Doctor ? " asked 
Lyndon, cahnly. 

" Father," gasped the Doctor. 

Tlie two men stood looking at each other 
across unfathomable depths. It was the infi- 
nitely loud ticking of the clock, and the 
sight of the pendulum silently swinging with 
the rapidity of thought through arcs of 
immeasurable length, that brought them back 
to full consciousness. The swift orderly ran 
up the Line again, and returned with Mrs. 
Bruff. She was trembling with expectant 
fear, and sobbed once as the Doctor in deep 
sympathy silently led her up the stair to the 
ward. He returned to Lyndon immediately. 

" They don't want me yet," he whispered. 
"Not till the last moment. My God, it is 
horrible ! " 

The overhead lamp made deep shadows 
beneath his eyes, and his cheeks looked 
hollow. He was terribly shaken by the sud- 
den discovery. 

" I pity them both," said Lyndon, simply. 

Then they sat silent, with the clock for 


company. They had no thoughts to be 
clothed in words. By and by, a slight 
breathing at the door aroused them from 
an abstracted state, and they saw the orderly 
at the door. He nodded to the Doctor with 
deep intelligence. 

" He's going," whispered the Doctor. " I 
can do nothing — only hold his pnlse, and 
say when he ceases to breathe. I wish any 
one but me had to witness the despair of 
those two people upstairs ! " 

He turned then, and went straight to his 
duty ; and Lyndon departed so that he should 
not be seen again that night by the father 
and mother of the man he had killed. 


The next day the garrison went about its 
routine with an oppressive sense of unhappy- 
portent. Men turning out for first duty felt 
calamity in the air. There was a supernat- 
ural stillness over the place ; the wind was 
dead ; the clouds hung motionless ; the flag 
was wound about its staff in undisturbed 
folds. Ordinary footsteps on a porch echoed 
across the parade as through an empty hall. 
Life was a surprise to the living, and moving 
objects were regarded curiously. Officers 
consulted together in awed groups, while 
the women watched them from the piazzas 
of quarters, and the enlisted men from bar- 
rack porches. Something of significance was 

Even the children at their play were 
affected by the air of fearful, undiscovered 
mystery. They went about with pale cheeks 
a,nd wide eyes, looking in the faces of their 
elders. The two little girls of Dr. Sanders 


wandered hand in hand up and down the 
Line, till they chanced upon Wallace. He 
perceived their forlorn condition, and at once 
sat down on a convenient railing with a child 
on either side. 

" What is the matter ?" he asked kindly. 

" We don't know," they answered, almost 
tearfully. " Mamma's got a headache, and 
papa's at the hospital. And something dread- 
ful has happened, that we don't know any- 
thing about." 

" I will tell you what it is," said he after 
a moment. "Your papa is at the hospital 
because one of the soldiers has died. That is 
something none of us know anything about. 
But I do not think it is so dreadful. I 
wouldn't mind it if I were you." 

The little girls were somewhat consoled by 
his words. They reflected on the limited 
number of deaths they had known, and on 
what followed. 

" Will there be a funeral ? " they asked, 

" Yes, I think I can promise you that. 
There will be a funeral, with the band, and a 
procession, and a firing party, and the fat old 
priest in the long white duster, from town. 
You will see and hear it all." 


The assurance of a funeral was comforting. 
Death was not so bad a thing, when it was 
followed by so moving a pageant. The little 
girls went away to gather playmates, and to 
bestow the rites of military burial upon a 
discarded doll in the back yard. Soon the 
sound of toy drums and trumpets and of 
mournful cries proclaimed that the mimic 
representation of sorrowful state was satisfac- 
torily progressing. 

Colonel Bruff did not appear at the office. 
His name was carried on the sick-report, and 
Major Kemmick assumed command in his 
stead. Mrs. Bruff was prostrated, and was 
being attended by Mrs. Remmick. The sur- 
geon had his hands full. It was a quiet, 
whispering, head-shaking gathering of the 
regiment's officers that filled the adjutant's 
office that morning and waited for develop- 
ments. No one seemed to know definitely 
the whole story ; no one attempted to make 
a consecutive statement of facts. And yet, 
in a general way, without looking to any one 
for information, it was accepted that Burton 
was that son of the Colonel who had been 
mourned as dead twenty years before, and 
that in his last moments the relationship had 
been avowed and admitted. 


During the day, in the same unheralded, 
mysterious way, the whisper ran from group 
to group that the mourning put on by Mrs. 
Bruff so many years before had been by the 
Colonel's express command. Tlie son — a 
mad, impetuous boy — had disgraced them, 
and was thenceforth dead to them. They 
should never see him, hear from him, speak 
of him. It had ever been the Colonel's way 
to condone no fault, to exhibit no moving 
of the kindly feelings. What had the boy 
done ? No one knew. What did it matter ? 
Appreciating through experience the Colo- 
nel's stern censoriousness, they could afford 
to judge the boy the more leniently. And 
he had been a good soldier. Yes, all could 
now give him credit for that. He was lying 
very white and still, in the dead-house at the 
hospital. He was unable to strike a blow or 
say a word for himself. None would be 
so uncharitable as to speak ill of him then. 

It was perceived that the Colonel and his 
wife had indeed lost sight of their son through 
the intervening years. They were regarded 
with great sympathy ; for ]\Irs. Bruff, over- 
come in the shock of discover}^ and the re- 
laxation after years of close, concealing 


habit ; for the Colonel, in the remorse that 
weighed upon him. For it was said that he 
was taking it hard. The general expression 
throusfhout the Q'arrison was that it was hard 
luck. An unusual respect, devoid of fear, 
was felt for the Colonel in his affliction. 

It became known that Burton would re- 
ceive burial, not as the Colonel's son, but as 
a soldier. Out upon the prairie, to the south 
of the post, a small square had been reclaimed 
from the creeping cactus growth and given 
over to the dead for habitation. It was 
fenced about with wire to guard against rov- 
ing stock ; and the graves were made deep ; 
for prairie-dogs are great burrowers, and 
coyotes are not above digging fiendishly in 
newly delved soil. Wooden markers, neatly 
turned and painted white, indicated the heads 
of graves. They bore in stencil a briefly 
comprehensive record of service and death. 

And on a day, the funeral Avas held. The 
band wailed and mourned through a dead- 
march. Two mules drew an artillery caisson 
on which lay the coffin, flag-draped, with the 
helmet and side arms of its occupant. The 
firing party followed with reversed arms, and 
after them the strength of the garrison. The 


procession moved at a snail's pace, to the 
melancholy booming of the bass drum and 
the intermittent shrilling- of the fifes. One 
had plenty of time in which to reflect on the 
solemnity of the occasion before it was over. 

There had been some speculation as to the 
personal course the Colonel would pursue. 
He had made no arrangements of any kind. 
But as the line was formed for the funeral pro- 
cession, the door of his quarters opened, and 
he stepped out in the full uniform of his rank. 
It was the first time since Burton's death 
that he had been seen by the garrison. He 
came forward alone. 

As the band struck into the dirge, he took 
his place at the head of the officers' column, 
and marched steadil}^ with them to the grave. 
He gave no trace of unusual sorrow in the 
fashions ordinarily affected. It might have 
been read in a certain ashyness of counte- 
nance, and in a firmer settling of lines around 
his mouth ; but step, bearing, attitude, all 
proclaimed the soldier accustomed to a re- 
pression of show. The open acknowledg- 
ment of his fault was in his presence ; his 
expiation of it was in his heart. 

The coil of the procession unwound itself 


from the garrison, and crept slowly over the 
ground to the grave. The helmet and side 
arms were quickly removed from the coffin, 
and placed on the ground. Then the coffin 
was lowered from sight, while the officers 
and men grouped themselves unconventionally 
around. One side of the enclosure was occu- 
pied b}' the soldiers' wives. The little girls 
of Dr. Sanders were there, having escaped 
the motherly eye. They hung on the wire 
fence, and gazed at the fat old priest, as he 
stood at the head of the grave and com- 
menced intoning. They were disappointed, 
for he had replaced the long white duster 
with a rust}^ black cassock. 

So to the end. The priest was choir, 
clergyman, and intermediary at the Throne. 
A good man, the priest, old and gray. No 
easy existence his. The little covered wagon 
in which he rode about the country, with its 
single mule, was at a paling. Here a wed- 
ding, there a christening, again a burial. He 
was in demand by all sects and by those of 
no sect, and he never failed to respond. Thus 
was his Catholicism put to the proof. 

Many a soldier had he laid away. A sorry 
chant, a prayer of Latin, rusty as his cassock 


and comforting as the sight of it. Requiescat 
in pa-a-ace ! Dust to dust. A volley. Taps. 
Good-night to a dead soldier. 

Then back to the post, to the barracks, 
Avith the band playing a lively quickstep, 
and the muffles removed from all the drums ! 
How the tenors did rattle beneath the beat 
of the field music ! It was an alert, stirring 
measure. Oh, it is pain that passes, and joy 
that remains, glossing over the dead graves 
with turf, enamelling the mounds with fair 
flowers. The living of this world are worthy 
of more consideration than the dead, for there 
are fewer of them ; they rank next in impor- 
tance to those who have yet to live. 

The Colonel did not resume command of 
the post. Major Remmick sat in his place. 
Nor was he seen but seldom. Once, in the 
sudden gloom after sunset, he was observed 
with his wife, walking across the prairie 
southerly from the pos.t. But no curious 
eyes followed them, and their return was 

He sent one day a note to Lyndon's . 
quarters, and in return Lyndon went to con- 
fer with him. What was said at that inter- 
view was never known ; there was a great 


deal that could not be said. But after that 
Lyndon's company rejoiced in a return to the 
privileges of the old-time manner of discipline, 
and Lyndon bore himself with a modestly 
victorious air. 

Shortly, the Colonel and Mrs. Bruff left 
the post on a month's leave of absence. This 
was soon extended to three months, and this 
to six. The officers read these notices of 
extension, and said it was no wonder they 
hated to come back. It was thought quite 
likely he would try to transfer to some other 
regiment. Recent associations were too pain- 

But they were hardly prepared for the 
announcement that followed these, that Colo- 
nel Bruif had taken advantage of the thirty 
years' service law, and applied for retirement 
under it. He had looked forward so aspir- 
ingly and hopefully to a brigadier generalship 
that they had not supposed anything could 
alter his purpose in that regard. He would 
surely have waited for his promotion. 

" It has taken the heart out of him," said 
the officers. " His ambition was to retire as 
a brigadier. But this has aged him. Poor 
old man, — heigho ! . . . Well, — he didn't 


need the increased pay, anyway; he had a 
regidar income outside the service. Let's 
see, now, — whom does that promote? . . ." 
For the retired list is the rock and anchor 
of the service. The okl look forward to it 
for a fcAV comfortable years on three-quarters 
pay ; and the young figure up how soon the 
old will be shelved upon it, and they them- 
selves get another grade. From the Military 
Academy to the Retired List — there is the 
procession of life, from the army's viewpoint. 
The band plays a dirge as the old veteran 
goes, but it is a quickstep that warms the 
hearts of the juniors who have seen him to 
the verge of his retirement. Their turns 
will come sometime in the years that are yet 
to be, — but in the meantime, please God, let 
the quickstep play ! 


Without a spoken admission of the fact 
^by any one, it was like the lifting and removal 
of a great weight from the garrison when 
it was definitely known that Colonel Bruff 
would not return to the command. Spirits 
were light and sanguine. The future offered 
nothing unusual in the strict professional line, 
but even routine became less depressing. The 
prevailing thought was optimistic. For a 
time, at least, the performance of duty w^ould 
go on without the vigilance of a harshly con- 
sidering eye, and the officers were glad; for 
even the sticklers amonsf them mio^ht admit 
that they had had quite enough of the hyper- 
critical quality. Major Remmick continued 
in command, for he was the ranking officer 
present ; and under him there was sure to be 
a just and yet pleasant administration. By 
and by a new colonel would be sent them, 
but that event was too far away to cause 
immediate apprehension. In calm, consid- 


ered method drill succeeded drill, and parade 
followed parade, ever with the air of being 
something new to itself, and of being sur- 
prised at awakening no unusual interest 
among the accustomed spectators. 

The Inspector of the department came on 
his official tour, and M^as pleased with all he 
saw ; and that was everything. He was not, 
given to submitting " whitewash " reports, 
as rumor ran some of his associates were, 
and no little ratchet or pinion of the post's 
mechanism escaped him. His report to the 
brigadier general at department headquarters 
placed the Old Regiment at the head of the 
department in general efficiency ; whereat 
there was great rejoicing among the rank 
and file and the commissioned of the Old 
Regiment. It was their ancient glory to be 
considered efficient, and subsequently to be 
allowed to prove it in the field. The men 
kept their rifles clean, their cartridges oiled, 
and one pair of marching-shoes in good con- 
dition. This had been seen ; they were 
efficient. Now for the proof. 

Unfortunately for the fire-eaters there was 
no more prospect of field service than at any 
time in the two years immediately preceding. 


The Indians, to whom they looked for an 
occasional frolic, were provokingly sedate 
and taciturn. Of foreign foes there were 
none. The Old Regiment was hotly pre- 
pared for an emergency that could not be 
said to exist, and it was eating its heart out 
at the ill will of destiny. Lawrence and 
Wallace fumed in company. Not that they 
wanted war, for that would mean an indefi- 
nite delay of other plans each had privately 
laid ; but it gave them a chance to say in 
conclusion : 

" Now we've had our inspection, and every- 
thing is O. K., and there's no trouble in the 
wind, it would be a good time to put in for 
a leave." 

" Good idea ! We will consider the motion 
carried unanimously." 

So the two matrimonial aspirants submitted 
applications for leave of absence through 
the regular military channels, conscious that 
every one at the post would approve their 
action. And Wallace then retired period- 
ically to seclusion, whence he wrote letters 
East, informing a Girl that he was on the 
point of starting, and should be witli her by 
or before a certain date ; which was the date 


set for their marriage. And Lawrence would 
be going into Major Remmick's quarters, and 
pleading with Millicent for a speedy fulfil- 
ment of promises. 

" I'm no good this way ; I'm nothing," he 
would say, spreading out his hands desper- 
ately. "I'm neither free nor bond, bachelor 
nor married man. I'm of no use in the com- 
pany, and the men grin at me at drill. I 
can't eat, and I've forgotten how to drink. 
I'm losing my grip. Can't you take a little 
more pity on me, and complete the ruin ? 
Don't leave me in this unfinished state ! " 

" You poor boy ! The whole garrison is 
sorry for you ! Well, since you are so anx- 
ious, I will tell you. . . ." And Lawrence 
would listen rapturously to such details of 
plans and preparations as she chose to impart 
to him. 

It had been a shock to him to learn that 
they could not be married at the post and go 
thence on a wedding trip. He had dreamed 
of a military wedding, administered by a 
chaplain borrowed from another post, at 
which the entire regiment should be present. 
When he proposed this in all confidence, he 
was staggered by Millicent's prompt refusa.1 
to be a party to it. 


" It is quite impossible," she said decidedly. 
" You don't understand ? No? But it is so. 
I shall have to go East. There are lots of 
things to do and to get." 

Lawrence did not understand in the least ; 
but as Millicent was supported in her decla- 
ration by Mrs. Remraick, he was brought 
around to an abandonment of his scheme. 
And a little later he was led to believe that 
he himself proposed putting in an application 
for a leave, and escorting Millicent and Mrs. 
Remmick on their eastward journey. He re- 
membered that there were many things he 
wanted to do and to get himself; and as he 
had not been on leave for some years, he really 
owed himself the attention. Besides, when 
Millicent's purchases were made, and she 
should have signified her willingness to let 
the ceremony proceed, he would be at hand 
and there would be no delay. Quite a com- 
pact little plan, and one of which he was 
inordinately proud, for it was approved by 
Millicent and countersigned by Mrs. Rem- 
mick. He only waited to learn that his leave 
application had been granted to put it into 

One night when Lyndon dropped in upon 


the family, they were in full glee over the 
plan and its probable accomplishment ; for 
the applications of both Wallace and Law- 
rence had come back, approved. Nothing 
now stood in the way of their going. 

"And when we return — you and I," Law- 
rence was saying daringly to Millicent, " we 
will live in quarters — a mud-walled kitchen 
and a tent. And how will you like that, 

" Excellently ! " she cried, not to be out- 
done. " I shall ask Mr. Thompson to let me 
have canvas on tlie walls, and then I'll deco- 
rate it with charcoal sketches. And how will 
you like that, Sir ? " 

" It is more than I bargained for," said he, 
with a droll air. "But it is an incentive." 

" If we happen to be shy of quarters, Law- 
rence," said Lyndon, "you can count on me. 
Take mine and welcome." 

" And mine, too," said the Major, in his 
humorous vein. 

"I couldn't furnish a major's .quarters in a 
year," laughed Lawrence. " A tent or a tepee 
is nearer my size. But tliou, O worthy Cap- 
tain, wilt fall a victim to thine own gener- 
osity. If need be, I shall take you at your 


word. It isn't every captain who would let 
his first lieutenant rank him out, now is 
it?" he said in proud commendation to the 

" That is Captain Lyndon's principle," said 
Mrs. Remmick, nodding at him reminiscently. 

Millicent reached Lyndon's side before the 
evening was over, and spoke to him with her 
hand on his arm. 

" Don't you do it — give up your quarters, 
I mean. You have sacrificed enough," said 
she, somewhat illogically, but with an elo- 
quent little pressure. The Captain under- 

In a few days they mounted the stage — 
Millicent and Mrs. Remmick, Wallace and 
Lawrence — and rolled away in a dust-cloud, 
while handkerchiefs were flown from every 
door, and the officers' caps were in the air. 

" Two brides to come — two sets of married 
quarters to fix up. My ! Guess I've got 
my hands full," said Thompson, with his 
mind running on the quartermaster's slim 

" She's a fine girl. What a pity she throws 
herself away on the infantry," said Captain 
Eagan to his wife. " If I'd only had a stray 


lieutenant with my troop, tlie}^ wouldn't have 
had any walkover ! " 

Lyndon and the Major walked away arm 
in arm. 

" It had to be so, I suppose," said the Major, 
awkwardly enough. 

"It's all right," began Lyndon, cheerily, 
and then stopped ; for he was repeating Bur- 
ton's words. But he continued : " I'm glad 
for her and glad for him. And as for you 
and I, we're just a pair of widowers." 

" Yes, just so, temporarily," assented the 
Major. " But out of it all you have some- 

"My company? Oh, I had that anyway. 
I suppose I'll coddle it now more than 

" No, you gained something ; made it." 

"What, I'd like to know?" demanded 
Lyndon, wonderingly. 

" A record. This is straight talk, now. 
You have converted the regiment. You have 
indicated a higher type of the American sol- 
dier. It is a mighty good thing for a man 
to have a steady ticker in his breast ; but a 
good heart is better." 

They walked on silently. The bugler came 


forth by the reveille gun and blew a tripping 

" Mess-call," said Lyndon, disengaging his 
arm. " I'll have to leave you and look after 
my company mess." 

" Keep it up," the Major called after him in 
pride and affection. " The men will rise up 
and call you blessed; and that's something, 
you know." 

"It's everything — now," replied Lyndon. 

Norfajooti 53rc33 : 

J. S. Cushinpc & Co. — Berwick & Smith. 
Boston, Mass., U.S.A. 


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FORMER series of M. Imbert de Saint-Amand's historical 
works have depicted the great French historical epochs 
of modern times. The stirring events of the Revolution, of the 
Consulate and Empire, and of the Restoration period, ending with 
the July revolution of 1830 and the accession of Louis Philippe, 
are grouped around the attractive personalities of Marie An- 
toinette, the Empresses Josephine and Marie Louise, and the 
Duchesses of Angouleme and of Berry. The remarkable and 
uniform success of these works has induced the publishers to un- 
dertake the translation and publication of a previous series of M. 
de Saint-Amand's volumes which deal with epochs more remote, 
but not for that reason less important, interesting, or instructive. 
The distinction of the cycle now begun with the "Women of the 
Valois Court" and ending with "The Last Years of Louis XV.," 
is that, whereas in former series several volumes have been de- 
voted to the historical events associated with each of the titular 
personalities to which they were closely related, in the present 
instance a more condensed method is followed. The color of 
the present series is more personal, and therefore more romantic, 
as is to be expected in the annals of a period during which the 
famous women of the French Court were not only more numer- 
ous but more influential than their successors of later times. 
The dawn of the modern era, chronicled in M. de Saint-Amand's 
"Marie Antoinette and the End of the Old Regime'' was the 
beginning of the extinction of the feminine influence that flour- 
ished vigorously in affairs of state from Marguerite of Angouleme 
to Madame Dubarry. It is the history of this influence that the 
author has graphically written in the four volumes now announced 
— "Women of the Valois Court," " The Court of Louis XIV.," 
and "The Court of Louis XV.," and "The Last Years of Louis XV." 


The first volume is devoted to Marguerite of Angouleme and 
Catherine de' Medici and their contemporaries at the French 
court during the days of the last of the Valois — the most ro- 
mantic period of royalty probably in all history. The two principal 
figures are depicted with striking vividness, — the half Catholic, 
half Protestant sister of Francis I., the grandmother of Henry 
IV., the author of the famous " Heptameron," and one of the most 
admirable historical figures of any epoch ; and the diplomatic, 
ambitious, unscrupulous but extremely human Catherine, univer- 
sally held responsible for the awful Massacre of Saint Bartholo- 
mew. But the subordinate though scarcely less famous women 
who adorned the Valois Court — Diane de Poitiers, the Duchess 
d'Etampes, Marguerite of Valois, Marie Stuart, and others — 
are described with an equally brilliant and illuminating touch. 

The volumes on the women of the great Bourbon epoch, 
the epoch of Louis XIV. and Louis XV., when the Bourbon 
star was in the zenith, contain a great deal of intimate history 
as well as setting in relief the interesting personalities of the 
famous La Valliere and Montespan and that perennial historical 
enigma, Madame de Maintenon, in the volume devoted to the 
court of the " Sun King," and those of Madame de Pompadour, 
Madame Dubarry, Queen Marie Leczinski, and other celebrities 
who made Versailles what it was during the long and varied 
reign of Louis XV. The study of Madame de Maintenon is a 
real contribution to history, and the pictures of the clever and 
dazzling beauties who controlled so long the destinies not only 
of France but measurably of Europe itself from the accession of 
"le Grand Monarque" to the first threatenings of the Revolution 
" deluge " are extremely lifelike and skilfully executed. The his- 
torical chronicle of the time is by no means lost sight of by the 
author, but in this series even more than in his works heretofore 
published in English he appears not only as an interesting and 
impartial historian, but as a brilliant historical portraitist. 



Each ivith Portraits, $1.25. Price per set, m box, cloth, $5.00; half calf , gio.oo. 







Each with Portrait, $1.25. Price per set, in box, cloth, $3.75; half calf, $7.50. 

In this series is unfolded the tremendous panorama of political events in 
which the unfortunate Queen had so influential a share, beginning with the days 
immediately preceding the Revolution, when court life at Versailles was so gay and 
unsuspecting, continuing with the enforced journey of the royal family to Paris, and 
the agitating months passed in the Tuileries, and concluding with the abolition of 
royalty, the proclamation of the Republic, and the imprisonment of the royal family, 
— the initial stage of their progress to the guillotine. 

Each ivith Portrait, $1.25. Price per set, in box, cloth, $3.75; half calf, $7.50. 

The romantic and eventful period beginning with Josephine's marriage, com- 
prises the astonishing Italian campaign, the Egyptian expedition, the coup d'etat of 
Brumaire, and is described in the first of the above volumes; while the second treats 
of the brilliant society which issued from the chaos of the Revolution, and over 
which Madame Bonaparte presided so charmingly; and the third, of the events 
between the assumption of the imperial title by Napoleon and the end of 1807, 
including, of course, the Austerlitz campaign. 

Each with Portrait, $1.25. Price per set, in box, cloth, $5.00; half calf , $10.00. 


The auspicious marriage of the Archduchess Marie Louise to the master of 
Europe; the Russian invasion, with its disastrous conclusion a few years later; the 
Dresden and Leipsic campaign; the invasion of France by the Allies, and the mar- 
vellous military strategy of Napoleon in 1814, ending only with his defeat and exile 
to Elba; his life in his little principality; his romantic escape and dramatic return to 
France; the preparations of the Hundred Days; Waterloo and the definitive restora- 
tion of Louis XVIII. closing the era begun in 1789, with "The End of the Old 
Regime," — are the subjects of the four volumes grouped around the personality of 
Marie Louise. 



Each with Portrait, $1.25. Price per set, i}i box, cloth, $2.50; ha!/ calf, $5.00. 



The period covered in this first of these volumes begins with the life of the 
daughter of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette imprisoned in the Temple after the 
execution of her parents, and ends with the accession of Louis XVIIL after the abdica- 
tion of Napoleon at Fontainebleau. The first Restoration, its illusions, the characters 
of Louis XVIIL, of his brother, afterwards Charles X., of the Dukes of Angouleme 
and Berry, sons of the latter, the life of the Court, the feeling of the city. Napoleon's 
sudden return from Elba, the Hundred Days from the Royalist side, the second 
Restoration, and the vengeance taken by the new government on the Imperialists, 
form the subject-matter of the second volume. 


Each with Portrait, $1.25. Price per set, in box, cloth, $3.75; half calf , $7.50. 


The Princess Marie Caroline, of Naples, became, upon her marriage with the 
Duke of Berry, the central figure of the French Court during the reigns of both 
Louis XVIIL and Charles X. The former of these was rendered eventful by the 
assassination of her husband and the birth of her son, the Count of Chambord, and 
the latter was from the first marked by those reactionary tendencies which resulted 
in the dethronement and exile of the Bourbons. The dramatic Revolution which 
brought about the July monarchy of Louis Philippe, has never been more vividly 
and intelligently described than in the last volume devoted to the Duchess of Berry. 

" In these translations of this i)iteresting series of sketches, ive have 
found an unexpected atnoimt of pleasure and profit. The author cites 
for us passages from forgotten diaries, hitherto unearthed letters, extracts 
from public proceedings, atid the like, and contrives to combine and 
arrange his inaterial so as to tnake a great many very vivid and pleas- 
ing pictures. Nor is this all. The material he lays before us is of real 
value, and much, if not tnost of it, must be unknoion save to the special 
stztdents of the period. We can, therefore, cordiclly commend these books 
to the attention of our readers. They luill find thevi attractive ijt their 
arrangement, never dull, with much variety of scene and incident, and 
admirably translated.''' — The Nation, of Dece7nber ig, iSqo.